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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Data reports on February spending

First Data Corp.'s SpendTrend analysis for February 2013 showed mixed results in same-store consumer spending compared with a year ago. Dollar volume growth slowed to 4.6 percent year-over-year, down from 6.2 percent in January. Retail dollar volume grew 2.5 percent, well below the 5.7 percent gain recorded in January and marking the slowest monthly growth in 12 months, First Data reported.

"The combination of elevated taxes, federal tax refund delays, adverse weather and higher gasoline prices clearly curbed shoppers' ability and willingness to shop in February," stated Rikard Bandebo, Vice President and Economist for First Data.

More shifting to credit

Trending on the plus side for the second consecutive month, credit card dollar volume growth continued to outperform all other payment types tracked, up 7.9 percent in February, as consumers shifted spending to credit cards.

"The fact that the personal savings rate significantly declined in January and consumers shifted more spending onto credit cards could be a sign that consumers may be overstretched," Bandebo said. "However, there are many other factors that could impact spending going forward including an improving labor market, steadily rising home values, healthy gains in the equity markets and the federal budget sequestration."

In addition, February's SpendTrend analysis of same-store dollar volume indicated closed-loop prepaid card transactions were up 3.2 percent, signature debit rose 2.0 percent and PIN debit inched up 1.3 percent; check payments declined 4.2 percent year-over-year. For further details, visit www.spendtrend.com . end of article

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