Consumer Payment Card News

XMAS 2003

Americans will have racked up slightly more than $115 billion in retail spending on their credit and debit cards as the holiday shopping season comes to a close this week. For the first five weeks of the current shopping season, consumers charged $69.6 billion to major credit cards and $20.1 billion to signature debit cards. The figures do not include credit card or debit card purchases for travel or groceries. Overall, holiday retail spending on payments cards is running about 7% above last year. According to firms tracking retail sales, overall holiday sales are running about 4% to 5% above 2002 levels. The forecast consensus for this year was between 5% and 6%. No matter how you slice or dice it, the overall growth rate in holiday retail sales for 2003 is more than double last year’s pace.

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