Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. retail sales grew 7.6%* this holiday season


According toMastercard SpendingPulseTM, U.S. retail sales excluding automotiveincreased 7.6% year-over-year this holiday season, running from November 1 through December 24. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation.

This holiday retail season looked different than years past, said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. Retailers discounted heavily but consumers diversified their holiday spending to accommodate rising prices and an appetite for experiences and festive gatherings post-pandemic.

Key trends this holiday season, included:

  • E-commerce shoppers add to cart: Online sales grew 10.6% compared to the same period last year, the preliminary insights show. This holiday season, e-commerce made up 21.6% of total retail sales, up from 20.9% in 2021 and 20.6% in 2020. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers prioritize convenience and availability of discounts.
  • Weekend shopping reigns supreme: Black Friday sustains its title as the top spending day of the 2022 holiday season, up +12% year-over-year excluding automotive. This was followed closely by Saturdays in December.
  • Ringing in the holidays in restaurants: Building on the ongoing demand for experiences, in-person dining continued to show strong momentum with restaurants up 15.1% YOY. From gatherings with co-workers to dinners out with friends and family, the festive season brought consumers out for the holidays.

Inflation altered the way U.S. consumers approached their holiday shopping from hunting for the best deals to making trade-offs that stretched gift-giving budgets, said Michelle Meyer, North America Chief Economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. Consumers and retailers navigated the season well, displaying resilience amid increasing economic pressures.

*Excluding automotive

The future is here: new Mastercard study finds majority of consumers embrace open banking to power digital financial experiences

Mastercard released a new report today, The Rise of Open Banking, demonstrating the mainstream adoption of technology to power smarter, more meaningful digital experiences. Open banking puts consumers at the center of where and how their data is used to more effectively provide the services they want and need. Fintech companies and banks use this consumer-permissioned data to provide easier and more inclusive access to credit, personal financial management, digital wallets and payments services.

Open banking is already embedded in several areas of our daily lives, including personal financial management tools, linking of financial accounts and account opening. According to the report, nine in 10 consumers in the U.S. and Canada use online and mobile financial applications to manage money, with paying bills (82%) and banking (80%) as the most popular use cases.

“Open banking gives consumers choice by enabling them to use their own data to obtain financial services solutions quickly, simply and securely,” said Chiro Aikat, Executive Vice President, Product & Engineering, North America. “Mastercard plays a central role in this ecosystem as a trusted intermediary and secure data network that powers smarter, more meaningful experiences and empowers consumers to practice good financial habits that enhance their day-to-day lives.”

Accelerated Shift to Digital

The survey uncovered that over the past year consumers have increasingly conducted common transactions digitally including:

  • Sending money to friends, family and businesses, with 59% of consumers using digital apps, products and/or services to do so and 36% in the U.S. using this technology for the first time in the last year
  • Securing or refinancing a loan (28% of consumers)
  • Emerging use cases like buying or selling cryptocurrency and crowdfunding

Open banking is at the foundation of many of these applications, where fintech companies, banks and financial institutions are connecting financial data securely and seamlessly to enable a wide range of financial products and services.

Willingness to Connect Financial Accounts

Critical to driving many, if not all, of these transactions is the ability for consumers to securely link their bank or payment accounts and authorize their financial data to be used in online financial applications. The report found that:

  • 74% of consumers in the U.S. (65% of Canadians) have, or would, consider connecting their bank accounts to financial apps and services to automate financial tasks
  • 68% in the U.S. (69% of Canadians) would do so to easily send money to someone

Trust in Fintech

Consumers are already connecting their data via multiple platforms to manage finances, and thus make their data work harder for them. Of those surveyed:

  • 59% of US respondents (55% of Canadians) feel very confident using technology to manage money
  • Convenience is a top driver for using financial technology, with 59% of consumers in Canada and the U.S. saying fintech saves them time and is less work.

Putting consumers at the center of how and where their financial data is used ensures greater transparency and in turn helps fintech companies, banks and financial institutions gather feedback, scale faster and create new financial products and services more efficiently. Mastercard is a trusted partner and provides the highest levels of security and protection in every interaction and data transfer, adhering to its own data protection principles and standards: Consumers own the data they produce every day — and have the right to understand and control how it is shared and used.

To read more about the Rise of Open Banking, download the report here.

Mastercard SpendingPulse: Child Tax Credit Helps Lift U.S. Retail Sales Growth to 10.9%* in July

Retail sales in the U.S. grew for the 11th consecutive month in July, according to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. With more cash in hand—fueled in part by the Child Tax Credit and pent-up savings—consumers drove U.S. retail spending growth excluding automotive and gasoline to +10.9% compared to July 2020. This is nearly quadruple the average growth in the month of July**.

At a national level, back-to-school shopping is well underway, impacting a number of sectors as anticipated in our forecast. Overall, key retail trends from July include:  

  • Child Tax Credit Boosts Department Stores and Apparel Sales: The first of six monthly Child Tax Credit payments provided parents with an infusion of cash during the peak back-to-school shopping season, with Apparel (+80% YOY) and Department Store (+44.8% YOY) sectors seeing an uptick in sales for the month. This was concentrated in the days immediately following the first distribution on July 15.
  • Return of the In-Store Shopper: Brick-and-mortar browsing is making its return, with in-stores sales making up 81.9% of total retail sales (ex auto) for the month. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, in-store sales were up +15.5% YOY in July and weekends experienced positive spikes in spending as a result of in-store shoppers returning to physical stores.
  • Making a House a Home: According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, new home sales have fallen to an 18-month low. However, consumers are still eager to turn their houses into homes as the Furniture & Furnishings sector continues to grow on a YOY (+3.2%) and YO2Y (+26.8%) basis.

“While e-commerce continues to play an increasingly significant role for retail, nothing replaces the in-store experience,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “July numbers reflect a return to the store. Consumers are shopping, spending and splurging across channels.”

Mastercard’s chief economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute Bricklin Dwyer said, “Back to school shopping is back. Combined with greater savings and higher demand, the Child Tax Credit has provided a boost for families and is putting more money into retailers’ pockets.”

*Excluding auto and gas

**The average year-over-year growth in July over the past four years was 2.9%