Consumers Pull Back on Spending in July

ATLANTA, August 9, 2012 – First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of July 2012 compared to July 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Consumer spending growth remained sluggish due to ongoing concerns about the economic recovery. Year-over-year dollar volume growth of 5.7% represented the slowest growth observed over the past year. Consumers have undoubtedly showed tentativeness in their spending habits.

Consumers were a bit less cautious with spending in certain discretionary categories in July. Back-to-school spending, retail discounting, and a moderate improvement in housing drove shoppers to spend in industries such as clothing and accessory stores, furniture and home furnishings, building material and garden equipment and supply dealers. Consumers also increased their summer vacation spending this year, and as a result hotels saw higher dollar volume growth.

“Consumers’ moods will remain relatively downbeat until clearer signals emerge that the economy is stabilizing again. Several macroeconomic factors are weighing heavily on consumers ability to increase spending including weak income and employment growth. Merchants will be watching carefully to see if early indications of strong back-to-school spending continue to materialize in August,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data.

July Dollar Volume Growth     CHANGE
Credit     +7.4%
Signature Debit     +2.7%
PIN Debit     +5.8%
Check     -4.4%
Closed-Loop Prepaid     -7.9%
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.


For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. A supplementary podcast including further analysis of the SpendTrend July 2012 report is available here.

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Media Contact
Elizabeth Grice, First Data

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.