First Data Releases August 2013 SpendTrend® Analysis

First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for August 1-30, 2013 compared to August 1-30, 2012. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

August’s dollar volume growth was 7.3%, a slowdown compared to July’s 7.7% growth. In August, gas prices fell below year-over-year levels, which drove the slower growth. Gas Station dollar volume growth in August fell to 1.2% compared with July’s growth of 6.9%. Although spending slowed slightly, the growth remained strong and was supported by robust back-to-school spending, the arrival of sales tax holidays and temperate weather.

Retail dollar volume growth of 5.5% in August jumped from July’s 4.4% growth as consumers focused on back-to-school shopping. Lower year-over-year gas prices lifted, to some extent, consumers’ discretionary purchasing power. Dollar volume growth at Gen’l Merch Stores and Clothing Stores saw solid improvements over July with growth at 4.0%, and 2.7%, as consumers shopped for back-to-school apparel and school supply items. Meanwhile, spending at Building Material & Supply Dealers rose to 13.1% as the housing market’s momentum continued.

Overall average ticket growth was 0.8% in August compared to last month’s growth of 1.1%. Gas Station average ticket growth fell to -3.5% versus July’s growth of 1.0%, the slowest growth in three-months, and was the key driver of the slower growth. However, retail average ticket growth of 1.7% marked an improvement over July’s 1.0% growth as retailers were less aggressive with price discounting, especially at Gen’l Merch Stores, Clothing Stores, Sporting Goods Stores and Building Material & Supply Dealers. Most retail subcategories saw higher year-over-year average ticket growth compared to July.

“Consumer spending growth continued its positive momentum into August largely due to strong back-to-school sales and the sales tax holidays,” said Krish Mantripragada, SVP, Information and Analytics Solutions, First Data. “Lower year-over-year gas prices helped drive an increase in discretionary spending, which contributed to continued credit card growth over debit card.”

August Dollar Volume Growth:

Credit +8.3%
Signature Debit +6.9%
PIN Debit +6.1%
Check –5.5%
Prepaid +2.9%
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.

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