Fall spending up thanks to back-to-school shoppers

by. Jeff Falk

Consumers increased spending in August, responding well to back-to-school shopping offers, seasonal clearance sales, favorable weather and an earlier-than-usual Labor Day holiday.

According to a recent spending report, the year-over-year overall dollar volume growth of more than 7 percent was the largest increase since March 2012. Retail dollar volume growth was up more than 5 percent, as consumers took advantage of back-to-school sales. General merchandise stores saw a 4 percent growth, while clothing stores enjoyed a nearly 3 percent jump. The continued strengthening of the housing market helped lead to a 13 percent increase in sales at building material and supply stores.

Here is the August dollar volume growth broken down by payment type:
Credit — up 5.4 percent
Signature Debit — up 7.9 percent
PIN Debit — up 9.3 percent
Prepaid — up 2.9 percent
Check — down 3.2 percent

“Consumer spending growth continued its positive momentum into August largely due to strong back-to-school sales and the sales tax holidays,” said Krish Mantripragada, SVP of information and analytics solutions at TMG’s processing partner First Data. “Lower…gas prices helped drive an increase in discretionary spending, which contributed to continued credit card growth over debit card.”

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