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First Data has released its September SpendTrend Analysisof same-store consumer spending, and the picture is hardly bullish for retailsales. Part of the difficulty, however, is an artifact of the year-priorsales numbers, which were exceptionally high.
Overalldollar volume growth was 5.8%, down from August’s 7.2% growth. The moderationof growth can be attributed to tough comparables as September 2011 was a strongmonth with dollar volume growth of 9.5%. Transaction growth dipped slightly to6.3% from 6.5% last month. Average ticket growth was -0.5%, down from August’s0.6% growth. Although consumers have shown a willingness to spend, theycontinue to be price-conscious and look for bargains
Retail volume growth specifically was 3.7% versus 7.4% inAugust, figures that again were affected by September 2011’s strongresults. Of potential concerns to both retailers and the credit cardindustry was the small growth in credit card spending (2.3%) versus signaturedebit (8.9%) and PIN debit (9.7%). Consumers continue to be cautious intheir use of credit, and to control the amount of spend, as illustrated by theflat/declining average ticket. Closed-loop prepaid showed modest growth(6.4%) suggesting the prepaid fits in with consumers spending preferences inthe lead-up to the holiday shopping season.
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