Spending growth down in Nov. despite strong Black Friday: First Data

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Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:00 am

First Data Corp. has said an analysis of consumer spending using point-of-sale terminals at merchants showed November expenditures rose less than they did in October.

The Atlanta-based company, with substantial operations and 5,000 employees in Omaha, said November dollar-expenditures rose 4.4 percent, from a rise of 6.8 percent in October.

The company’s SpendTrend metric tracks same-store point-of-sale data by credit cards, debit cards, checks and other payment methods; First Data is the largest processor of electronic payments.

November transaction growth, the company said, slipped to 4.8 percent compared to October’s 6.2 percent.

“Still, overall spending growth remained positive on a year-over-year basis, as it has throughout 2013, and was supported by stronger spending at travel and hotel merchants, which saw robust growth at 9 percent and 6.4 percent, as more consumers traveled for Thanksgiving,” First Data said.

Retail growth cooled in November in spite of strong spending growth during Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Spending growth was strong at 9 percent on Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday.

“Although spending growth increased on a year-over-year basis, the growth slowed on a sequential basis as consumers were more modest in their purchases throughout the month as they prepared for the holiday shopping season,” said Krish Mantripragada, First Data’s senior vice president for information and analytics.

“We definitely see that consumers are more confident and have enjoyed stronger income growth in 2013 compared to 2012. This should encourage shoppers to open up their wallets as the holiday season progresses.”

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