First Data: November spending up a moderate 7.3%

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Atlanta -- The SpendTrend analysis released Friday by First Data Corp., which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, found that overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was up 7.3% in November 2011, down from October’s 9.4% growth.

November 2011 had tough comparables as November 2010 was a particularly strong month, with dollar volume growth up 8.1%, according to First Data. November 2011 transaction growth was 6.1%. 

Consumers anticipated Black Friday sales and restrained spending earlier in the month. Retailers were reluctant to slash prices in November until planned Black Friday promotions began.  Overall year-over-year average ticket growth was 1.1% for the month, down from October’s growth of 1.8% and the smallest increase since July 2011. Moderating inflation levels contributed to the slowdown in average ticket growth.  

“Despite a good Thanksgiving/Black Friday, year-over-year spending growth was only moderate for the full month of November,” said Silvio Tavares, senior VP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend. “Consumers restrained their spending until Black Friday promotions began and appear focused on value this holiday season.”

The different retail categories experienced mixed results in November.  Electronic/Appliances saw dollar volume growth turn positive for the first time in over a year, while Clothing/Accessory retailers experienced declining transaction growth for the first time in eight months.  Consumers restrained spending over the course of the month as they geared up for the holiday bargains.