Press Release

U.S. Retail Sales Up 4.4% in May

Latest MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse™ Report Shows Increased Spending, but Consumers Remain Cautious As They Focus on Needs vs. Wants

Tweet this news: #MasterCard #SpendingPulse report shows May #retailsales up 4.4% y/y

June 11, 2013

U.S. retail sales (excluding auto) rallied in May to a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase, according to the latest SpendingPulse™ report, a macro-economic indicator that tracks national retail sales, released today by MasterCard Advisors. This is a positive boost compared to the lift seen in April and well above the average growth rate for Q1 2013 (which saw 2.6 percent year-over-year growth).

"Retail sales haven't been this robust since November of last year," said Sarah Quinlan, SVP, Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors. "This gain is most likely due to the 'wealth effect' of a stronger real estate market and high stock market indices. However, our analysis shows that people are still spending cautiously and focusing on needs rather than wants. This is reflected in the weak sales for sectors such as Electronics and Department Stores."

The May SpendingPulse report also showed that the uptick in retail sales was not hampered by lower spending on gasoline, which only slightly benefitted from a Memorial Day holiday boost. When gasoline is removed, total retail sales increased 5.3 percent compared to May 2012. Airline sales were also down for the fifth month in a row. On a positive note, online shopping continued to post double-digit gains year-over-year.

About MasterCard SpendingPulse
A macro-economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data. MasterCard Advisors produces monthly SpendingPulse reports that are available to subscribers in the US, UK, Canada and Brazil, and are delivered ahead of retail spending figures provided by other sources.

About MasterCard Advisors
MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, provides clients around the world with insights and solutions that drive business impact and ROI. The company uses advanced analytics and deep payments expertise to translate data into actionable behavioral insights and customized services. With analyses based on more than 80 billion anonymous transactions processed in 210 countries worldwide, the company leverages aggregated information and a consultative approach to help financial institutions, merchants, media companies, governments and other organizations grow their businesses. For more information, go to

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities -- such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances -- easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

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