The new year has been tough for U.S. investors, but as the results from MasterCard and Visa show consumers appear unfazed by the stock market's choppiness and the fears of a recession that has generated.
In the fourth quarter MasterCard reported that purchase volume in the U.S rose 8.4 percent, up from 7.6 percent in 2015. Visa's volume declined slightly to 8.9 percent from 9.4 percent.
In an interview following the earnings call, MasterCard CFO Martina Hund-Mejean told CNBC that the company feels pretty good about consumers and does not anticipate a change in their spending patterns this year. Hund-Mejean said the fourth-quarter purchase volumes reflect an increased willingness of consumers to spend the money they have been saving on lower gas prices.
"What they are doing, and this only happened in the latter part of the year, is that rather than saving it, they are now feeling they can put it toward other discretionary spending," she said.