Card spending growth slower in September

Atlanta -- The SpendTrend analysis for September, released Tuesday by First Data Corp., found that card spending in September was down from the month prior.

The report, which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, showed that overall dollar volume growth was 5.8%, down from August’s 7.2% growth.

The moderation of growth, said First Data, can be attributed to tough comparables as September 2011 was a strong month with dollar volume growth of 9.5%. Transaction growth dipped slightly to 6.3% from 6.5% last month. Average ticket growth was -0.5%, down from August’s 0.6% growth.

Retail dollar volume growth slowed to 3.7% from 7.4% in August due to tough comparables, the end of back-to-school shopping and restricted consumer spending in light of the upcoming holiday season. However, the housing market turnaround continued to drive shoppers to spend on building materials, garden equipment and home furnishings.

“Fundamentals continue to support moderate spending growth with employment and income improving, the stock market rising, and the housing market firming,” said Rikard Bandebo, VP and economist, First Data. “While consumer fundamentals are improving, they are at a lackluster pace.