First Data’s SpendTrend data for August showed some relatively hopeful consumer spending trends as the back to school season ramped up, and vacation travel continued.
Overall retail spending growth was the strongest in more than a year with dollar volume growth at 2.8 percent in August (vs. 2.6 percent in July). Overall average ticket growth remained positive at 1.2 percent, slipping slightly from July’s 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, First Data said.
In terms of tender type, closed loop prepaid grew it’s volume 6% (although it is presumably off a relatively smaller base compared to debit and credit). Consumers who had purchased or received closed loop prepaid cards were perhaps motivated by renewed spending needs and confidence to spend down previously loaded cards.
Perhaps more importantly, credit card volume increased 5.8% on a same-store basis, suggesting that consumers are finally liberalizing their use of credit, consistent with recent Federal Reserve data showing a pickup in credit card outstandings over the last five months.
Overview by Ken Paterson, VP, Research Operations
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