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SpendTrend report: Card spending moderated in early December

Atlanta - First Data Corp.’s SpendTrend report, which tracks same-store consumer spending via credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT cards, found that in early December, year-over-year dollar volume growth was 6.6%, a decrease from November’s strong growth of 8.1%.

Overall dollar volume growth was healthy in light of tougher year-over-year comparables, according to the report. Seasonality also had an impact on overall growth as the first two weeks of December often see a slowdown in spending following the pre-holiday and Black Friday sales in late November.

With the holiday season well underway, consumers were more cautious and value-oriented, said First Data. In early December, consumers made more frequent purchases, but average ticket size was smaller. This was reflected in overall average ticket size, which declined 1.5%, excluding fuel. Transaction growth picked up in early December as year-over-year growth rose 8.1%, compared with November’s growth of 7.7%.

At retailers, dollar volume growth was 5.4%, compared with 8.5% in November. Transaction growth also slowed to 5.9% from 7.7% in the prior month. Tougher year-over-year comparables led to the slowing growth. Soft-line merchants continued to perform better than hard-line merchants. Clothing/accessory stores performed well with dollar volume growth of 7% and average tickets rose 1%. Electronics/appliances continued to struggle with dollar volume growth of -6.6% and average tickets declined 1.8%.

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