First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, releases its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of January 2013 compared to January 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.
Dollar volume growth improved to 6.2 percent versus 4.0 percent in December as consumer spending bounced back despite the payroll tax increase. Improved retail spending was a large contributor to this growth. Retailers experienced a healthy rebound in spending as consumers increased discretionary spending during the start of the year. Retail dollar volume growth was the highest growth seen since August 2012. Dollar volume growth in building material & garden equipment & supply dealers and sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores were key contributors to the retail growth.
Average ticket growth of 0.9 percent, an eight-month high, was a significant improvement versus December. Retail average tickets saw the highest growth seen in over a year as promotional activity by retailers curtailed and shoppers showed an increased propensity to spend more. Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores in particular saw the largest average ticket growth.
“Consumers showed a willingness to spend despite an increase in payroll taxes. The growth was supported by a number of factors including the short-term resolution of the fiscal cliff scenario, growth in jobs, continued improvement in the housing market, and the rising stock market,” says Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data. “However, merchants will undoubtedly keep a close eye on consumer sentiment in the coming months to determine if shoppers will maintain increased spending as the full impact of the payroll tax hike may not be felt until February or even later out.”