Grocery stores, big-box retailers and even auto mechanics could see a boost in the coming months, thanks to a new source of cash: Monthly payments that go directly into parents’ and caretakers’ bank accounts.
“It’s a good thing for Walmart and grocery stores,” said Jim Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame who is studying the impact of post-pandemic spending. “The retail sectors where middle- and lower-income families spend money are likely to benefit some from this.”
Starting Thursday, families will receive money for each of their children. The enhanced child tax credits, passed through the American Rescue Plan, are intended to fight child poverty. For retailers, however, they could also act as a stimulus that encourages spending on food, school supplies, clothes — or even a car payment.
“This will fill a void with some of the other payments being no longer distributed,” said Michael Lasser, a retail analyst for UBS. “It’s going to continue to support consumer spending.”