First Data: May card spending healthy

Atlanta -- A report released Monday by First Data Corp. found that same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EPT cards and checks at U.S. retail locations rose 7% year-over-year. April’s growth was 5.7%.

The First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of May 2012 showed that, although consumers continued to spend at a healthy clip early in the month, activity did slow as the month progressed. Transaction growth in May held fairly steady at 5.9%.

According to the report, consumers were more cautious with spending in discretionary categories in May. Industries such as hotels and restaurants saw significantly slower dollar volume growth in May compared with April. Overall year-over-year average ticket growth was 1.0% in May, up from April’s -0.1% growth. In May, credit dollar volume growth surged to 8.2% past April’s growth figure of 5.8%.

“Overall May card spending growth was healthy, but there is reason for caution. During the month we saw consumers reducing the growth of their discretionary spending at retail merchants and increasingly resorting to credit for necessities,” said Silvio Tavares, senior VP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.

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