Credit unions that rely on card interchange for a good part of their noninterest income should see improved numbers from February and going forward, according to First Data Corp.
The card processing firm's SpendTrend analysis reported that compared to a year ago, consumers in February spent more in almost all categories.
"Despite severe winter weather in several key metropolitan areas, same-store dollar volume was up 8.4% (7.4% excluding gasoline stations) with employment showing signs of stabilization. Average tickets were up 1.4% the first year-over-year increase since July 2008," the firm reported.
First Data also reported that consumers spent more and saved less during the month and their discretionary purchases increased at general merchandise stores including value retailers.
"Same-store dollar volume growth for retail merchants overall increased to 8.0% in February, up from 5.4% in January, representing the highest monthly growth rate in more than two years."
First Data reported that same-store transaction growth for February 2010 slowed to 6.9% over February 2009, down from January's rate of 7.9%, also as a result of severe weather. The lower transaction growth at gasoline stations and food and beverage stores, particularly in the second week of the February, contributed significantly to the reduced growth month-over-month, the firm reported.