Mastercard Report Shows Consumer Spending Up in July

Retail in-store and online consumer spending excluding automotive increased 11.2% year-over-year (YOY) in July across all payment types, with demand and higher prices both contributing factors, according to new Mastercard data.

The July Mastercard SpendingPulse report showed that retail sales excluding automotive and gas were up 9.0% and overall eCommerce sales were up 11.7% YOY. The Mastercard SpendingPulse report reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.

July’s increase in spending outpaced monthly YOY growth this year, with inflation playing into how consumers navigate between wants and needs, according to a Mastercard press release about its SpendingPulse report on Thursday (Aug. 4). The increase comes after another almost double-digit hike: retail spending was up 9.5% YOY in June according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report, PYMNTS reported July 7. Excluding auto and gas, in-store spending was up 11.7% year over year in June, with eCommerce growing 1.1%.

The 16.8% YOY growth in the grocery sector in July was mostly because of the increase in food prices due to inflation. Apparel was up 16.6% and jewelry by 18.6% driven by demand, not inflation, according to the report.

“Consumers’ purchasing power has been strained by higher prices, particularly for the most fundamental needs-based categories like food and energy,” said Michelle Meyer, U.S. chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute.

“Thus far, nominal spending remains strong as consumers cope with high price inflation. As we continue to look at the strength of the consumer, we will be keenly focused on trends surrounding employment and wage growth,” Meyer said in a statement.

According to recent research from PYMNTS, 87% of respondents have made at least one change in their restaurant spending habits due to price increases and many restaurants are seeing changes in how customers order.

“The latest retail trends place an emphasis on consumer choice and passion-driven spending – they’re hunting […]

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