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BTS propels spending in August


Overall retail spending growth in August 2014 was the strongest in more than a year, according to the First Data SpendTrend report.

Retail dollar volume growth reached 2.8% in August — compared to 2.6% in July — as back-to-school shopping propelled spending growth in several retail categories.

August’s overall average ticket growth remained positive at 1.2%, slipping slightly from July’s 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. Looking at growth rates of different payment types, credit transactions grew 5.8% in August, while signature debit card transactions rose 3.9% and transactions using PIN debit cards increased 3.4%. Check transactions decreased 5.9% and prepaid card transactions grew 6%.

“Two important factors, back-to-school spending and late summer vacationing, contributed to strong overall consumer spending in August and despite stagnant wage growth and a moderate housing market, consumer confidence rose in August,” said Krish Mantripragada, SVP, information and analytics solutions with First Data. “Robust credit card spending at 5.8%, was healthy again last month, surpassing both PIN and signature debit growth.”

The First Data SpendTrend report examined the period for Aug. 2 through Sept. 2, 2014, compared to Aug. 1 through Sept. 1, 2013. SpendTrend tracks same-store point-of-sale data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly 4 million merchants locations serviced by First Data in the United States.

Dollar volume growth at furniture and home furnishings and general merchandise stores was positive on a year-over-year basis and increased sequentially compared to July, with a growth of 4.5% and 4.4%, respectively.

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