Last week Bank of America’s economist warned about the possibility of slowest global growth since 2009 on account of COVID’s rapid spread. As governments, businesses and other public institutions grapple with this black swan event, there is an urgent need for leading data indicators to quantify the impact and strategize necessary measures.
Back home, Singapore has done an impressive job at managing the spread. Nonetheless, the economic impact is expected to be significant. We at Lifesight attempted to quantify this by digging into our data and analyzing footfall patterns at some of the popular malls across Singapore over the last 1 month. Below is what we observed
Footfall at popular malls has shrunk by an average of ~63%
We contrasted daily average footfall (weekdays) for the period Jan 6th to 10th (pre-COVID-19 period) with those observed between February 3rd and 14th (Post COVID-19 period). Jan 6th to 10th was selected as the baseline footfall in order to have minimal interference from the CNY festive crowd.
A similar trend is observed when analyzing the weekend traffic at the above malls
Malls in the central region witnessed the biggest drop in footfall reaching as high as 70% in some cases
Some of the biggest footfall drop was seen in malls located in the central region such as ION Orchard, Raffles City and Bugis and is likely linked to fall in tourist arrivals. Bedok mall in the east and IMM in the west had the least impact – even though the traffic was still down by almost half.
Early signs of recovery observed towards the end of February
Footfalls appear to be picking up towards the end of February though is still far below the usual traffic. Stay tuned for Part -2 of the report as we update the analysis with more recent data and insights!