Trends: In October, for the first time in 19 months, searches for “restaurants” exceeded the prepandemic level

A bar-establishment from times of pandemic, in the heart of Buenos Aires (Photo: Franco Fafasuli)

In October it exceeded the level of the same month in 2019 by 3%. Mobility towards “leisure spaces and shops” also increased, but searches associated with cultural and recreational consumption are still 24% below

After 19 consecutive months (from March 2019 to September 2021), in October, searches for information on restaurants in Argentina exceeded pre-pandemic levels, standing 3% above those of the same month in 2019, when the last presidential election took place. .

Also the mobility of people towards “leisure spaces and shops”, a category that –by configuration- includes restaurants, had a good performance last month, although it could not yet recover pre-school records, reaching 5.2% for below.

Where the searches and mobility indexes continue to falter is in other cultural and recreational consumptions, such as cinemas, theaters, bowling alleys. Last October they were still 24% lower than the stage prior to the outbreak of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.

Information search level by Google "restaurants" and similar variants ,.  The horizontal black line is the prepandemic level
Level of searches by Google for information “restaurants” and similar variants. The horizontal black line is the prepandemic level

Such the findings of a study of Marcos Cohen Arazi and Lautaro Carranza, economists of the Ieral of the Mediterranean Foundation, using the Google Trends tool that, they explain, “allows an approximate approach to the consumption of Argentines in restaurants, that is, it is considered that the dynamics shown by these data can be an approximate indicator of consumption of the population ”.

Pre-trip?

Although the authors do not say, The results may be influenced by the effect of the second edition of Pre-Trip, which allows 50% of travel, tourism, accommodation and gastronomy consumption previously “purchased” through the official program to serve as credit for other goods and services associated with the sightseeing. Suppliers of hotel and gastronomic services in tourist centers have indicated, in fact, the higher demand and the perception of prices of the users of the program allowed them to update values ​​that they considered to be very lagging.

Restaurants have been one of the items hardest hit by mobility restrictions in Argentina in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, both legal and self-imposed restrictions for health reasons.

Searches and mobility continue to lag behind in cultural and recreational consumption such as cinemas and theaters.  In October they were still 24% lower than the prepandemic REUTERS / Agustín Marcarián
Searches and mobility continue to lag behind in cultural and recreational consumption such as cinemas and theaters. In October they were still 24% lower than the prepandemic REUTERS / Agustín Marcarián

The focus was the gastronomic sector, one of the items hardest hit – and for a longer time – by the pandemic and quarantine, to the point that its effects are still being felt today. The researchers turned to the Google tool because official restaurant statistics lag heavily. By case, the latest data available from the Monthly Estimator of Economic Activity (EMAE), from Indec, and the data from the Argentine Integrated Social Security System (SIPA), from which employment data and social security contributions are extracted, are from August, those of AFIP arrive are even more delinquent. In addition, in almost all statistics the information on restaurants comes, without differentiating, together with that of Hotels.

It was thus that Cohen Arazi and Carranza detected through Google searches (using “restaurants” and similar variants ”that last October the average traffic was 3% higher than the same month of 2019 and 75% higher than that of 2020, a trend that had begun to be noticed in August and September, when the level of searches was 92% of the respective months of 2019.

In February and March there had been a rebound (to 90 and 87%), which was aborted by the increase in the circulation of the virus and the re-imposition of restrictions that reduced searches and mobility to registries 19% lower than those of pre-pandemic.

Mobility in shops and leisure spaces is already very close to the pre-school level.  Not so for cultural activities, which is still 24% below, although improving in recent months
Mobility in shops and leisure spaces is already very close to the pre-school level. Not so for cultural activities, which is still 24% below, although improving in recent months

Google’s local mobility reports also rebounded in October and allow distinguishing between different categories of places: supermarkets and pharmacies, parks, transport stations, shops and leisure spaces, workplaces and residential areas.

Leisure and culture

Within the category “Shops and leisure spaces”, they include mobility trends in restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries and cinemas.

After a marked drop at the end of May 2021 (-59.4% on May 28 compared to the base period, the authors specify), the mobility of people in “shops and leisure spaces” recovered steadily until the end October. For the whole, mobility in restaurants, cafeterias, shopping malls and other places of leisure, the average was just 5.2% below prendemic, although if only the second half of the month is considered the difference is reduced to 3.5 per cent. hundred.

On the other hand, in other consumption and cultural and recreational activities, such as cinemas, theaters and nightclubs that had been affected by mobility restrictions, searches are still 24% lower than they were in February 2019, before the irruption of the pandemic, although they have been rebounding: in August and September they were 41 and 40% below against the same months of 2019.

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Reference-www.infobae.com

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