Mastercard report suggests rising sales figures may be a myth

PURCHASE, NY – Rising prices drove some of the sales increases in June, according to Mastercard’s monthly SpendingPulse report.

The report, which measures in-store and online sales for all forms of payment, notes that consumer spending by U.S. consumers, excluding autos, rose 9.5% year-over-year in June, while retail sales excluding autos and gasoline jumped 6.1%. While on the face of it these numbers would indicate a growing economy, Mastercard notes that the report is not adjusted for inflation, so these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Sales of furniture and home furnishings jumped 4.2% year-over-year and 21.5% from pre-pandemic levels from June 2019.

Comparing June 2022 to three years ago, the retail minus auto snapshot shows an increase in sales of 20.8%, or 17.1% if auto sales are excluded and gasoline. E-commerce is up 97.6% from June 2021, while in-store sales are up 10.7% from pre-pandemic levels.

Excluding autos and gasoline, in-store spending rose 11.7% year-over-year in June. E-commerce spending rose 1.1% from 2021 levels. Mastercard said nominal spending growth was down slightly from May, though still consistent with growth levels seen earlier. early in 2022.

“Sector by sector, we see a mixed picture of the impact of inflation on core consumer spending versus discretionary consumer spending,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser to Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated. .

Two of the categories with higher inflation saw sales rise as Mastercard notes consumers are paying more for necessities: June sales for fuel and convenience are up 42.1% from to 2021, while groceries are up 14.1% from June last year.

Accommodation (up 33.7%), air travel (18.2%), jewelry (16.2%) and clothing (13.1%) also posted double-digit increases in year-over-year sales.

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Thomas Lester is Retail Editor for Furniture Today and Digital Editor for Home Accents Today. A graduate of Emory & Henry College’s mass communications program, Lester spent a dozen years working for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina covering a range of topics, from community news, government, education, ACC sports, professional baseball and more before joining Furniture Today. in 2013. Contact me with your story ideas, tips and more at