Rising gas prices contributed to a 7.7 percent increase in consumer spending in July compared to the same month a year ago, First Data said Monday in its monthly SpendTrend report.
Warm and dry weather also helped, according to the Atlanta payments processing firm with operations in Omaha.
Despite higher gas prices, “consumer spending remains healthy and the recent pickup in employment, together with a strong housing recovery and stock market gains, should encourage more spending during the ever-important back-to-school shopping season,” said Krish Mantripragada, First Data senior vice president.
Prepaid (gift) card spending grew more than any other form of payment, at 11.5 percent. Credit card dollar volume grew 8.1 percent, signature debit card use 7.5 percent, and PIN debit card use 7.4 percent.
But people wrote fewer checks -- check dollar volume fell 3.4 percent.