Spending Growth Slows Despite Strong Holiday Retail Sales

Shoppers were more modest in their spending at the beginning of November, but by month’s end they were ready to take advantage of holiday deals. When Thanksgiving/Black Friday finally arrived, cold and dry weather in some parts of the country encouraged visits to retail centers while blasts of frigid temps in others kept some shoppers indoors and online.

Yet, despite the last minute boost in spending, November dollar volume growth slowed to 4.4% compared to 6.8% in October. As expected, Travel and Hotel merchants experienced robust growth at 9.0% and 6.4% thanks to Thanksgiving trips. At the same time, Building Material & Supply Dealers along with Home Furnishings grew 7.2% and 7.0% as consumers turned their attention to home improvement projects.

As the holiday season progresses, we should see consumers open their wallets a little wider as they’ve enjoyed stronger income growth in 2013 compared to 2012. How’s your holiday shopping coming along? Tell us by visiting First Data on Twitter or visit First Data’s SpendTrend and the SpendTrend infographic for more information.

Rishi Chhabra is vice president of information and analytics solutions at First Data.

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