Dec 28, 2009
Holiday Shoppers Spent More This Season

MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report tracking national retail and service sales, has released summary results for the holiday shopping season. The data showed year-over-year growth in the period between Black Friday through Dec. 24 in all sectors measured. In addition, six out of ten sectors showed positive growth in the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24.

Tempering these results, however, is the fact that there was an extra day this year over last year’s holiday season. Adjusting for this could decrease the season’s year over-year-growth statistics by anywhere from 2 to 4 percent.

“Overall this year, we have seen increasing stability in spending, as opposed to the free-fall of 2008,” said Michael McNamara, vice president, research and analysis for SpendingPulse. “This is especially significant considering that prices have been holding up this season, without the broad emergency discounting that consumers benefited from during the 2008 holiday season.”

McNamara pointed to several anomalies in the season this year. “The extra shopping day may have given some lift to overall year-over-year comparisons. Also, early discounting in 2008 drew holiday spending into early November, while this year shopping didn’t really take off until Black Friday.”

He added that several major winter storms disrupted traffic to brick and mortar locations, which seemed to benefit online shopping growth rates.

A macro-economic indicator, SpendingPulse reports on national retail and service sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.

MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services to financial institutions and their merchant partners worldwide.

For more information, visit www.mastercardadvisors.com.




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