Card-issuing credit unions are probably looking at a better than average month for credit and debit card interchange, according to First Data' monthly analysis of consumer spending habits, which it has dubbed SpendTrend.
The analysis of last month’s data indicated that, year over year, dollar volume growth remained solid at 5.8% in November, down from 6.7% in October, the payment's processor reported.
“The growth was considered healthy as November 2011 was a strong month with dollar volume growth of 7.3%. The growth significantly weighted to spending at retailers during the latter half of the month. Although Black Friday retail spending was weaker this year with growth at 8.3% compared to 9.7% last year, overall November dollar volume growth still performed well,” the processor added.
First Data said most retail segments experienced healthy year-over-year dollar volume growth, with overall retail dollar volume growth moving up 5.6%, a three-month high and a significant jump compared to the 3.5% growth in October.
Year-over-year average ticket growth dropped -0.2% in November, down from October’s growth of 0.8%. Retail average ticket growth of 2.0% remained relatively stable, which reflects the strengthening position of retail as some merchants are less inclined to drive sales at the expense of margins, First Data said.
“At first glance, it appears that spending growth is healthy heading into the holiday season,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data. “However, November 2012 was among the slower growth months this year, so retailers may begin to engage in more competitive pricing to attract shoppers as the holiday season progresses.”