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Late-Season Travel, Back-to-School Spending Propel Growth

A day at the beach?  Consumers soaking up the last weeks of summer before and during Labor Day weekend, combined with back-to-school shopping helped power the strongest retail spending growth in 13 months in August.

Driven by August vacations, leisure spending growth rebounded in August, and at 3.3% was the strongest in six months. As summer waned, vacationers contributed to the rise in year-over-year spending growth in the Hotel and Travel categories.

Overall retail spending growth was the strongest in over a year as back-to-school shopping propelled spending growth in several retail categories. In particular, the Furniture and Home Furnishings and General Merchandise Stores categories saw positive year-over-year growth.

“Two important factors – back-to-school spending and late summer vacationing – contributed to strong overall consumer spending in August and despite stagnant wage growth and a moderate housing market, consumer confidence rose in August,” said Krish Mantripragada, SVP, Information and Analytics Solutions with First Data, adding, “Robust credit card spending at 5.8%, was healthy again last month, surpassing both PIN and signature debit growth.” 

Share your thoughts on late-summer spending growth by visiting First Data on Twitter or visit First Data’s SpendTrend for more information.

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