October 26, 2012

Canadian consumer spending realizes steady growth in Q3

TORONTO-- Canadian consumer spending has increased in the third quarter, with an overall growth of 4.77 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the Moneris Spending Report from Moneris Solutions, a Canadian credit and debit card processor.

The restaurant category saw the highest increase in overall spending in Q3, at 6.91 per cent, followed closely by grocery stores, with a growth of 6.22 per cent. Spending at fast food restaurants and drinking establishments continued to grow, with increases of 11.44 per cent and 10.27 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period in 2011.

For a second consecutive quarter, the specialty retail category experienced positive growth, with sporting goods (7.99 per cent), stationary (6.94 per cent) and pet shops (6.29 per cent) leading the way in dollars spent, while apparel continued to experience very modest growth, with an increase of 1.96 per cent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year.

The travel category experienced a decrease in spending of -3.91 per cent during the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2011. The Moneris Spending Report shows that Canadian travel was at its lowest in July and August, with an overall decrease in spending of -8.18 per cent and -3.13 per cent, respectively, while September saw a modest increase in dollars spent of 0.21 per cent.

Nationally, the Prairie provinces continued to lead the growth in spending, with Saskatchewan at the helm (with an overall increase in dollars spent of 9.72 per cent), followed closely by Alberta (with an increase of 9.31 per cent). Newfoundland also experienced healthy growth last quarter, compared to the same period last year, at 6.49 per cent. Quebec, Ontario and B.C. continued to lag in spending, at 3.96, 3.41 and 3.16 per cent, respectively, while Nova Scotia experienced the slowest spending growth, at 1.88 per cent. Overall, PEI showed positive growth in Q3 (an increase of 2.28 per cent in dollars spent), but spending decreased in the province during the month of July (-2.3 per cent).

Credit card spending growth has slowed throughout the year with both Q1 (5.26 per cent) and Q2 (5.62 per cent) showing higher YOY spending growths than Q3 (5.19%). However, debit card spending growth in Q3 (4.15%) is higher than it was in Q1 (3.47 per cent) or Q2 (3.31 per cent). The credit to debit spending ratio was 59.8 per cent to 40.2 per cent, with Ontario showing the highest ratio, at 64.2 per cent to 35.8 per cent.

Year over the year, the average transaction amount increased for debit cards, while decreasing slightly for credit cards - at $46.11 and 107.01, respectively.

"We continue to see similar spending trends throughout the quarters. With Canadians continuing to enjoy a social lifestyle," said Jim Baumgartner, President and CEO, Moneris Solutions. "We are interested in following these trends throughout the holiday season. Q4 is traditionally a strong period for spending growth in Canada and we look forward to seeing the impact of pre and post holiday activity on the spending data."

The Moneris Spending Report provides a quarterly snapshot of consumer spending activity in Canada by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. The percentages cited are derived from actual sales volumes - the dollar values of credit and debit card transactions being processed by merchants.












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