First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for July 2-30, 2013 compared to July 3-31, 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.
July’s dollar volume growth of 7.7% marked a 12-month high and an uptick from June’s growth of 7.1%. The rise in year-over-year gas prices was a key contributor to the growth. Gas Station dollar volume growth was 6.9%, the largest growth since October 2012, and a jump from last month’s growth of 3.5%. Overall transaction growth of 6.5% hit a 10-month high as the long Independence Day weekend, and warm and dry weather across much of the country were strong catalysts for the pickup in shopper traffic.
Retail segment dollar volume growth of 4.4% in July was a slowdown compared to June’s growth of 5.5% as retailers engaged in summer clearance discounting and higher year-over-year gas prices cut into discretionary budgets. All retail subcategories saw lower year-over-year growth compared to last month with the exception of Electronics and Appliances, which saw growth return to positive territory at 1.3%.
Average ticket growth of 1.1% marked a slight uptick compared to June’s growth of 1.0%. The primary driver of the growth was the increase in average tickets at Gas Stations and Hotel and Travel merchants. Gas Station average ticket growth of 1% was the highest growth since October 2012. On the flip side, Retail average ticket growth of 1% fell from last month’s growth and reached the lowest growth in 10 months as retailers engaged in clearance promotions.
“Despite higher year-over-year gas prices, consumer spending remains healthy and the recent pickup in employment, together with a strong housing recovery and stock market gains, should encourage more spending during the ever-important back-to-school shopping season,” said Krish Mantripragada, senior vice president, Information and Analytics Solutions, First Data. “Credit dollar volume growth continues to lead PIN and signature debit growth even though PIN debit growth spiked due to higher gas prices.”
July Dollar Volume Growth
Signature Debit +7.5%
PIN Debit +7.4%
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.