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Year-over-year consumer spending growth, via electronic payments like debit cards, credit cards and mobile payments, remained strong at five and a half percent during the first quarter of 2019, according to the new U.S. Spending Snapshot from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) and The Strawhecker Group (TSG).

“The first quarter of 2019 continued the trend of strong growth in spending with electronic payments despite political uncertainty, lower consumer confidence and a higher overall personal savings rate,” said Jared Drieling, senior director of business intelligence, TSG. “Spending at gas stations significantly slowed in the first quarter, down to just under 4% in year-over-year spending growth compared to 18% in the first quarter of last year due to the lower year-over-year gas prices. Consumers appear to be shifting that spend to boost savings or splurge on discretionary categories like restaurants.”

Consumer spending growth spread across the country as each region experienced strong year-over-year growth, especially in the New England region, which saw a 7% increase in dollar volume growth.

“The payments technology industry provides merchants with the ability to accept electronic payments and as an industry we are propelling the growth in new ways for consumers to pay,” said Amy Zirkle, interim CEO, ETA. “Through innovation, the payments technology industry enables safe, secure and easier ways for consumers to pay, which helps drive commerce.”

The ETA/TSG U.S. Spending Snapshot is a quarterly report that analyzes actual consumer spending at 3.7 million U.S. merchants, highlighting payment trends by both merchant categories and geographic breakdowns. The Snapshot uses the Strawhecker Group’s AIM™ (Acquiring Industry Metrics) platform, which 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.



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