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Consumer Activity Nearing Fully Recovery Following COVID-19, According to Yelp Data

  • Yelp compares consumer activity data in the spring of 2021 to the pre-pandemic levels
  • Consumer interest returns to nearly pre-pandemic levels for restaurants, retail, and home services
  • Some businesses see greater interest compared to 2019, including pet care and auto services

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Consumer interest has rebounded to near or above pre-pandemic levels for several goods and services, according to a recent report from Yelp.

The popular business review site compared consumer activity, such as viewing business pages and leaving reviews, from March to May in the years 2019, 2020, and 2021. This period was marked by a sharp downturn in activity in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and business restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

  • Restaurant activity was at 86 percent of 2019 levels for the March to May period of 2021, while food business activity was at 92 percent of pre-pandemic levels
  • Retail activity stood at 92 percent of pre-pandemic levels, with clothing sales continuing to lag but increased interest in resale businesses like antique, vintage, and thrift stores
  • Interest in home services remained strong, with activity at 99 percent of pre-pandemic levels and above pre-pandemic levels for carpenters, handymen, drywall, and numerous other services
  • Pet care and auto services also rebounded past pre-pandemic levels
  • Consumer interest showed stronger recovery in states with lower population densities as well as areas with fewer business restrictions

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