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SpendingPulse Report: June results mixed

Purchase, N.Y. -- A report released Thursday by MasterCard Advisors, which tracked sales activity in the MasterCard payments network coupled with cash and check estimates, said that June sales continued May’s mixed bag with some sectors gaining and some losing momentum.

According to the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report, the luxury and restaurant categories continued to add momentum to their performance in May, while overall year-over-year growth was supported by gasoline and grocery sales.  The report also showed that specialty apparel gained while the electronics and appliances, furniture and furnishings and department stores sectors remained in negative territory.

“As we move into the summer, discretionary spending tends to shift to vacation-related categories, usually reflected in Travel sales and particularly in Lodging, although we are seeing some weakness in those areas,” said Michael McNamara, VP research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “At the same time, June is peak season for weddings and graduations, and this may have helped the continuing strong growth of both Luxury and Jewelry sectors.”

Specialty apparel performed well in June, according to the report, although performance was helped somewhat by some easy year-over-year comparisons.

Other key findings from the report included: E-commerce was up 15.2% over June 2010, and the Luxury Index (excluding jewelry) was up 8.2% compared to a 4.7% gain in May. The SpendingPulse Luxury category includes luxury sales at high-end restaurants, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories.

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