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 tlester@furnituretoday.com.