Strong year-over-year growth in retail and discretionary spending categories drove a 6.9 percent increase in U.S. consumer spending during the second quarter of 2018. The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the global trade association for the payments technology industry, and the Strawhecker Group (TSG), a leading payments market analytics and consulting firm, released today the ETA/TSG U.S. Spending Snapshot. The new quarterly report analyzes consumer spending and payment trends by both merchant categories and geographic breakdowns.
“As the strength of the economy continues to grow, consumer spending growth remains strong despite a spike in gas prices,” said Jared Drieling, Senior Director of Business Intelligence at TSG. “Overall, the U.S. economy remains on the rise in large party due to tax cuts and increased government spending. Consumers remained confident and spent at a healthy rate due to a strengthened labor market.”
Year-over-year spending on gas grew 17.8 percent versus 9.8 percent growth in the second quarter of 2017, and retail spending grew 5.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, versus 3.8 percent growth in the second quarter of 2017. The only merchant category tracked that did not see year-over year quarterly growth was electronics. Certain regions of the country surpassed the national average. The Rocky Mountains, for example, experienced 8.8 percent year-over-year volume growth.
“The strong U.S. labor market is powering consumer confidence, which is turn is driving an increase in spending,” said ETA CEO Jason Oxman. “We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with The Strawhecker Group to provide powerful data on consumer spending. As consumers have access to innovative options to pay at the point-of-sale, we expect the growth of electronic payments for consumer spending to keep pace.”
The ETA/TSG U.S. Spending Snapshot highlights retail spending growth over Q2 2018, was released at ETA’s Strategic Leadership Forum. The Snapshot will be released quarterly and uses the Strawhecker Group’s Acquiring Industry Metrics (AIM) platform. AIM spans over 3.7 million U.S. merchants with over $1 trillion of total annualized dollar volume and provides a comprehensive look at same-store sales and consumer spending behavior by merchant categories and geographic breakdowns.