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Holiday Checkwriting Slows

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The unusually mild weather that much of the country has been experiencing this season may have slowed the shopping rush following the big Thanksgiving weekend. Even though the pace has moderated, holiday shopping is still up 2.2 percent nationally over the same period last year, according to TeleCheck Services, the worlds leading check acceptance company. The pace is expected to increase again during the last week or so before Christmas.
TeleChecks data are based on a same-store comparison of the dollar volume of authorized checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleChecks 200,000 subscribing locations. They report that checks account for about one-third of all retail spending.

Listed below are some representative statistics on holiday shopping for the period from November 27 through December 6, 1998, compared to the previous year:

SOUTHEASTERN REGION SOUTHWESTERN REGION
  Florida       +1.8%
  Texas         +1.2%
  Louisiana     +2.9%
  Missouri      +2.8%
  Georgia       +3.4%
  Oklahoma      +1.8%
  Tennessee     +2.0%
  The Carolinas +2.4%

WESTERN REGION NORTHEASTERN REGION
  Arizona       +2.7%
  Massachusetts -3.3%
  California    +0.3%
  New York      +2.4%
  Oregon        -1.1%
  Washington    +0.1%
  Colorado      +4.0%
  Hawaii        -1.5%

MIDWESTERN REGION MID-ATLANTIC REGION
  Illinois      +3.4%
  Wash., DC     +2.1%
  Michigan      +3.5%
  Pennsylvania  +2.8%
  Wisconsin     +3.8%
  New Jersey    -2.3%
  Minnesota     +4.0%
  Virginia      +1.3%
  Ohio          +2.9%
  Maryland      +3.1%

Further information can be obtained by contacting the TeleCheck Web site at www.telecheck.com

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