First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for April 2–29, 2013, compared to April 3–30, 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.
Year-over-year dollar volume growth increased 5.1 percent in April, a slowdown from March’s 6 percent growth. The earlier Easter holiday may have contributed a little to the slower growth this month.
However, despite the slowdown, spending at restaurants increased by nearly 7 percent.
Year-over-year retail dollar volume growth was 4.3 percent in April, up slightly from March’s 3.9 percent increase.
Year-over-year average ticket growth was 0.4 percent in April, a slowdown from March’s 1.8 percent increase. Lower year-over-year gas prices were again a significant factor, as average ticket values at gasoline stations were down -6.6 percent in April, the largest decline in more than three years.
Average ticket growth at retail merchants remained healthy, posting a 2.9 percent increase.
“We saw falling gas prices having a big impact on consumer spending in April,” says Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data. “As consumers appeared to pocket the savings on gas rather than funneling that extra cash into discretionary spending areas, the impact was to dampen overall consumer spending in April. We also saw that card spending growth was slower in the second half of the month, and consumers continued to show a preference for spending on credit.”