First Data SpendTrend®, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. SpendTrend® tracks credit, signature debit and PIN debit transaction growth, dollar volume growth, and average ticket growth, providing trends by both industry and geographic regions.
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Consumer spending growth remained sluggish due to ongoing concerns about the economic recovery. Year-over-year dollar volume growth of 5.7% represented the slowest growth observed over the past year. Consumers have undoubtedly showed tentativeness in their spending habits.
Consumers were a bit less cautious with spending in certain discretionary categories in July. Back-to-school spending, retail discounting, and a moderate improvement in housing drove shoppers to spend in industries such as clothing and accessory stores, furniture and home furnishings, building material and garden equipment and supply dealers. Consumers also increased their summer vacation spending this year, and as a result hotels saw higher dollar volume growth.
“Consumers’ moods will remain relatively downbeat until clearer signals emerge that the economy is stabilizing again. Several macroeconomic factors are weighing heavily on consumers ability to increase spending including weak income and employment growth. Merchants will be watching carefully to see if early indications of strong back-to-school spending continue to materialize in August,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data.
Purchase the July 2012 edition of First Data SpendTrend® to access all of the payments insights from Bandebo's team, as well as the full data set on payments usage behind First Data's latest analyses.