Study Finds Higher Restaurant Spending May Be Related to COVID-19 Cases

A new study says there could be a correlation between increasing COVID-19 cases and spending money on restaurants.

That’s what JP Morgan discovered after reviewing data collected by John Hopkins University and studying how 30 million Chase debit and credit card holders have spent their money in recent weeks.

“We found that the level of restaurant spending three weeks ago was the strongest predictor of the rise in new virus cases in the next three weeks,” wrote Jesse Edgerton, an analyst with economic and political research at JP Morgan. “Spending on ‘gift card’ restaurants (that is, in person rather than online) is particularly predictive.”

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At the same time, Edgerton discovered that consumer spending in supermarkets showed a lower rate of new COVID-19 cases and argued that “high levels of supermarket spending are indicative of more careful social distancing in a state.” .

To put his point forward, Edgerton said in New York and New Jersey, states where new cases have decreased, spending on supermarkets has increased in the past three weeks and up to 20% compared to 2019. Comparatively, in Arizona and Texas, where COVID-19 Cases have increased, consumers have spent less in supermarkets compared to last year’s numbers.[astthreeweeksandup20%comparedto2019ComparativelyinArizonaandTexaswhereCOVID-19caseshaverisenconsumershavespentlessatsupermarketscomparedtolastyear’snumbers[astthreeweeksandup20%comparedto2019ComparativelyinArizonaandTexaswhereCOVID-19caseshaverisenconsumershavespentlessatsupermarketscomparedtolastyear’snumbers

Edgerton wrote that while he acknowledges that other factors may drive the spread of the new coronavirus, especially given that U.S. states share other characteristics beyond restaurant spending, he believes the data indicates a relationship between economic activity and the spread. posterior of COVID-19.

In this chart, JP Morgan illustrates California's increase in COVID-19 cases per million since its reopening.

In this chart, JP Morgan illustrates California’s increase in COVID-19 cases per million since its reopening.

screenshot: JP Morgan

According to another JP Morgan report updated on Friday, California has had a steady rebound in coronavirus cases since its reopening. CA.Gov indicated that California had a total of 200,461 cases and a 2.5% increase on June 26.

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On Wednesday, the United States recorded 34,700 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest number since April when cases peaked at 36,400.

Susana Guerrero is a digital reporter for SFGATE. Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @ SusyGuerrero3


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