Report: Consumer credit-card use bounces back in January

Atlanta -- A report released Wednesday by First Data Corp., which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, found that more consumers opted to pay with credit cards in January.

According to the First Data SpendTrend report for January 2011, transaction growth on credit cards was at a 13-month high in January and year-over-year credit dollar volume growth was the second highest in over a year.

Total revolving credit balances increased in December for the first time in over two years and likely increased in January, according to the report.

Across all card types, January’s total dollar volume growth increased 7.4% year-over-year, up from December’s growth of 6.5%. Transaction growth increased 8.3% in January, an improvement from December’s growth of 7.6%.

Average ticket growth declined -0.8% on a year-over-year basis, although this was a slight improvement from December’s average ticket decline of -1.0%. Most industries were impacted by declining average tickets as consumers continued to be price-conscious and look for bargains.

“Consumer spending during the fourth quarter 2010 was the strongest in nearly five years, and the momentum from the strong holiday season carried over into January,” said Silvio Tavares, senior VP and division manager of First Data Information and Analytics Services.

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