First Data Corp., a global provider of electronic commerce and payment processing, has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for Aug. 31, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2013 compared to Sept. 1, 2012 through Oct. 1, 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.
Overall dollar volume growth of 5.3% in September fell from last month’s growth of 7.3%. The retrenchment in growth was largely due to slower back-to-school shopping activity compared to August, lower year-over-year gas prices and unseasonably warm weather. Dollar volume growth of -2.4% at gas stations marked the slowest growth since April 2013. Consumer confidence also waned during September as another fiscal policy battle in Washington rattled consumers.
Although retail spending was healthy in August with growth at 5.5%, September’s growth marked a slowdown with dollar volume growth of 3.6%. Despite the slowdown across all retail sub-categories, several industries continued to exhibit healthy growth such as building material & supply dealers and furniture & home furnishings with growth of 10.0% and 5.7% in September.
Average ticket growth retreated in September with growth of -0.2%, compared to August’s growth of 0.8%, and marked the first negative growth since December 2012. The slowdown in gas station average ticket growth was the primary factor in the overall slowdown. Gas station average ticket growth was -5.9% during the month compared to August’s growth of -3.5%. Retail average ticket growth also slipped with growth of 0.8% versus 1.7% last month as retailers pushed clearance deals and initiated steeper “end-of-season” discounts for remaining back-to-school inventory.
“Consumer spending growth fell from last month’s growth as back-to-school spending was weaker compared to August, and as the national year-over-year gas discount gap widened,” said Krish Mantripragada, senior vice president, information and analytics solutions, First Data. “Although spending on credit led all payments, the growth marked a significant slowdown from last month as shoppers were likely more cautious about using credit to sustain spending.”
September Dollar Volume Growth
Signature Debit +4.8%
PIN Debit +5.2%
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.
For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit www.spendtrend.com.