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Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Gregor Petri, Georgiana Comsa, Samuel Scott

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First Data Releases December 2013 SpendTrend® Analysis

First Data Corporation, the global leader in payments processing and electronic commerce solutions, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for Dec. 3, 2013, through Dec. 30, 2013, compared to Dec. 4, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012. SpendTrend tracks same-store point-of-sale data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly four million U.S. merchant locations serviced by First Data.

Dollar volume growth of 6.1% marked a significant spike compared to November’s growth of 4.4% as holiday shoppers were out in full force with no time to procrastinate due to the shortened holiday shopping season. The growth was supported by extended store hours, pre-Christmas and post-Christmas, and the promotional environment that lured in last-minute, bargain-seeking shoppers. The wide year-over-year gas price discount that was seen for the past few months tightened and also helped to propel the growth higher. Gas Station dollar volume growth was 3.4%, the highest growth in five-months; however, adverse weather across the Midwest and Northeast hindered shopper foot traffic and subdued the overall growth.

Retail spending growth of 3.1% jumped from last month’s growth of 1.3%. With a shortened holiday shopping timeline punctuated by winter storms, shoppers felt the pressure and increasingly stepped up retail spending as the month progressed. The healthy growth was largely supported by stronger sequential spending growth in retail categories such as Building Material & Supply Dealers, Health & Personal Care Stores and Gen’l Merchandise Stores, which saw growth of 11.1%, 4.9% and 3.6%.

Average ticket growth of 0.8% improved considerably compared to November’s growth of -0.3% as shoppers loosened their purse strings and showed an increased propensity to spend more for holiday gifts. Retail average tickets also marked a comeback with growth of 1.2% compared to 0.6% last month. Despite the healthy improvements in overall average tickets and retail average tickets, the growth slowed toward the end of the month as merchants integrated deeper discounts to attract last minute shoppers and to clear excess inventory.

“Spending growth was strong in December as shoppers were more confident and enjoyed stronger income growth compared to 2012, which encouraged consumers to open up their wallets this holiday season,” said Krish Mantripragada, SVP, Information and Analytics Solutions, First Data. “More so, holiday shoppers were out in full force and did not have time to procrastinate due to the shortened holiday window this year. Merchants also made it easier for the consumer to shop this holiday season by providing price-matching, free shipping guarantees and expanded store hours throughout December. Meanwhile, spending growth on credit cards hit a four-month high in December as consumers increasingly turned to credit to fund discretionary holiday purchases.”

December Dollar Volume Growth

     

CHANGE

Credit +7.8%
Signature Debit +4.0%
PIN Debit +4.3%
Check –2.1%
Prepaid +5.2%
 

Note: All transactions are same-store growth.

 

To view infographics showing December SpendTrend data, visit: http://www.firstdata.com/spendtrend/2013-12/spendtrend-data-201312.png

For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit www.spendtrend.com or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169.

To participate in the SpendTrend conversation, please follow First Data at http://twitter.com/spendtrend.

Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive client revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction. More information about the company is available on FirstData.com as well as on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.

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