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Americans Buy Goods Over Services as Virus Lingers

  • Flexport’s post-Covid gauge shows a slight uptick for December
  • Pandemic reverves decades of declining share of goods spending

American consumers are showing little sign of returning yet to their normal balance of spending on services over goods, with a heavy reliance on imported products, according to two indicators based on shipping data.

Flexport Inc.’s Post-Covid Indicator shows a reading of 123 for December, up from 122 in November and the 11th straight month above 100 -- the baseline set in mid-2020 to show how consumer spending patterns shifted after the initial coronavirus outbreaks and lockdowns.