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First Data Releases September 2012 SpendTrend® Analysis

Consumer Spending Growth Slower in September

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of September 2012 compared to September 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Overall dollar volume growth was 5.8%, down from August’s 7.2% growth. The moderation of growth 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. Although consumers have shown a willingness to spend, they continue to be price-conscious and look for bargains.

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 at building material & garden equipment & supply dealers and furniture & home furnishing stores.

“Fundamentals continue to support moderate spending growth with employment and income improving, the stock market rising, and the housing market firming. While consumer fundamentals are improving, they are at a lackluster pace,” said Rikard Bandebo, vice president and economist, First Data. “The slow pace of job and income growth is the most significant weight holding back consumers. Another drag on spending is uncertainty, the upcoming presidential election, and the unresolved ‘fiscal cliff’; rising food costs as well as ongoing job fears could cause consumers to tighten their spending.”

Credit +2.3%
Signature Debit +8.9%
PIN Debit +9.7%
Check -6.4%
Closed-Loop Prepaid +6.4%

September Dollar Volume Growth


Note: All transactions are same-store growth.

For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. A supplementary podcast including further analysis of the SpendTrend September 2012 report is available here.

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Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction.

First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.

Elizabeth Grice, First Data

Source: First Data Corporation