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MASTERCD : SpendingPulse July 2011 U.S. Retail Sector Report: Mixed Results with Strength in Specialty Apparel and Luxury Retail

08/04/2011 | 10:45am US/Eastern
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SpendingPulse July 2011 U.S. Retail Sector Report: Mixed Results with Strength in Specialty Apparel and Luxury RetailAugust 4, 2011

Sluggish Housing Market Continues to Impact Electronics, Appliances and Furnishing Sales

SpendingPulse™

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

Purchase, N.Y. August 4, 2011 – MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales, today provided summary results for the performance of specific U.S. retail industries in July 2011. Apparel continued to show gains, while housing-related sectors like Electronics, Appliances, and Furniture remained in negative territory. Lastly, Auto Parts and Service posted its first decline after five months of growth.

Michael McNamara, VP of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, observed that the mixed results reflected a number of factors. “Sector weaknesses are the result of a variety of drivers. The sluggish housing market is reflected in a sixth consecutive month of losses in Furniture and Furnishings. Further, consumers were paying about $1.00 more per gallon of gasoline this month than they were in July 2010. At about 10.9 billion gallons pumped this July, that price increase is redirecting almost $11 billion per month towards gasoline spending and away from other areas of consumer spending, or savings.”

McNamara noted that continued high gas prices may also be showing their effect in the first monthly drop in Automotive sales after five months of increases, as well as in Restaurants, where all of the subsectors posted their lowest growth rates in several months. “The combined highs in temperature and gasoline may be keeping people off of the roads,” he said. “And that could also be behind the continued strength of e-Commerce.”

Here are a few details for some specific U.S. retail sectors for July 2011:

Up 14.0% over July 2010, e-Commerce posted its 24th straight month of year-over-year growth, and its 9th consecutive month of double-digit growth, with improvement in every subcategory except for Electronics. It is worth noting that the 14% year-over-year growth for the overall category was the smallest increase for e-Commerce since February 2011, and is an expected seasonal slowing.

The SpendingPulse Luxury Index (excluding Jewelry) showed particularly robust growth. Up 11.6% year over year, this is the largest increase since April 2010. The SpendingPulse Luxury category includes luxury sales at high-end restaurants, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories.

Specialty Apparel continued to do well. Up 6.2% over July 2010, it was slightly better than the year-over-year results for May and June.

For more on SpendingPulse, please visit:

http://www.mastercardadvisors.com/us/advisors/en/merchant_solutions/ms_spendingpulse.html

# # #

For further information contact:

Meir Kahtan

+1-212-575-8188

Meir Kahtan Public Relations,

mkahtan@rcn.com

Joanne Trout

+1-914-249-6644

LLC MasterCard Worldwide

joanne_trout@mastercard.com

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 www.mastercardadvisors.com

About MasterCard Worldwide

As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2010, $2.7 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 23 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 160 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 130 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl®. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

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