SOURCE: MasterCard Advisors

MasterCard Advisors

November 12, 2009 08:30 ET

SpendingPulse: Mixed Results for October U.S. Retail Sales Ex-Auto: Month-to-Month Flatten After 2 Months' Growth, While Year-to-Year Continues to Improve

Narrower Loss Is Best Year-to-Year Showing Since Last October

PURCHASE, NY--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report tracking national retail and service sales, today provided summary results for October 2009. Kamalesh Rao, Director of Economic Research for MasterCard Advisors, reported retail sales were somewhat varied last month, as short-term growth rates slowed while longer-term growth rates gained momentum. To listen to the audio podcast of this recording please visit

Observed Rao, "We appear to be in a spending environment that has stabilized. We're not seeing any more of the pronounced declines but we're not seeing robust acceleration either."

Month-to-month ex-auto growth rates cooled to a flat 0%, noticeably more moderate than the 2.4% and 0.6% gains of August and September respectively. With gasoline taken out of the picture, sales were actually down by 2.3%, the biggest month-to-month decline since December of 2008.

Meanwhile, on a year-over-year basis, total U.S. retail sales continued to stabilize. Seasonally adjusted retail sales ex-auto were down by 1.3% against October of 2008. While this is still in negative territory, it is a significant improvement over the average 5.83% loss over the prior three months. Rao noted, "In fact, October's growth rate is the best year-over-year showing for retail sales since October of last year. We're not yet in positive territory, but the declines are getting smaller."

Regional Analysis

SpendingPulse also analyzed the data by geography and found that the Mid-Atlantic region led the nation in unadjusted year-over-year comparisons with a 5.1% increase compared to October 2008.

The lagging region was the South Central region, trailing all other regions in unadjusted year-over-year comparisons with a 4.0% decline over October 2008.

Table: October 2009 U.S. Retail Sales

U.S. Retail Sales, Seasonally Adjusted

U.S. Retail Sales     % Change Over Prior Month   % Change Over Prior Year
Total Retail Ex Auto                       +0.0%                      -1.3%
Total Ex Auto Ex Gas                       -2.3%                      +1.5%

About MasterCard Advisors

MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services to financial institutions and their merchant partners worldwide. Addressing complex challenges in strategy, marketing, risk, and operations, MasterCard Advisors helps clients maximize the value of their payments businesses. As the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. For more information, go to

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to

SpendingPulse™ Data Source: A macro-economic indicator, SpendingPulse reports on national retail and service sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide.

Contact Information

  • For further information contact:

    Meir Kahtan
    Meir Kahtan Public Relations, LLC
    Email Contact

    Jennifer Stalzer
    MasterCard Worldwide
    Email Contact