U.S. consumer retail spending — excluding automative — increased by 9.5% year-over-year (YOY) in June, while retail sales — without factoring auto and gas — rose 6.1% YOY, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Rising prices for necessities such as food and fuel were a contributing factor, as Mastercard SpendingPulse reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation. Excluding auto and gas, in-store spending is up 11.7% YOY in June, and while e-commerce grew at a slower pace this month (+1.1% YOY), sales for e-commerce remain roughly double June 2019 levels. Nominal spending growth is down slightly compared to May, though it remains consistent with growth levels seen earlier in 2022.
As inflation persists, consumers are paying more for essentials. Two of the categories that have higher inflation that have seen a lift in sales are fuel and convenience and grocery. June sales for fuel and convenience are up 42.1% YOY and grocery sales are up 14% YOY.
Meanwhile, discretionary spending continued to drive growth across the fashion-forward sectors in June, including jewelry, luxury and department stores which have all seen growth compared to last year. And with summer in full swing, consumers continue to spend on travel experiences: airline and lodging are both up 18.2% YOY and 33.7% YOY, respectively.
“Sector by sector, we’re seeing a varied picture of how inflation is impacting essential vs discretionary consumer spending,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc. “One notable highlight is that travel sectors such as airlines and lodging continue to show signs of strong demand.”
Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are 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. As such, SpendingPulse insights do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual Mastercard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.