March report shows Australian total retail sales up on last year

Sydney Australia, 27 April 2016 – MasterCard Advisors, a unit of MasterCard (NYSE: MA) has revealed the results of the March SpendingPulse™ report in Australia, showing total retail sales grew by 3.4 percent year-over-year. This is the 24th month of growth although its rate is declining.

The SpendingPulse report provides a macroeconomic analysis of retail performance and spending, using aggregated and anonymous transaction data, along with data on other payment forms including cash, to offer insights into consumer spending trends.

In its first quarter results for Australia, the report showed an average growth rate of 3.3 percent year-on-year in total retail sales across the last three months, slightly below the 3.4 percent seen in the fourth quarter. Clothing stores stepped into the limelight, as growth increased beyond total retail sales. However, department stores and household goods sales both trailed behind total retail stores in year-over-year growth.

The Good Friday holiday played a key influential role; sales increased during the typical pre-holiday shopping dash, but then fell across household goods and department stores following the holiday.

“In good news for Australian business, holiday periods do provide a catalyst and stimulus for discretionary consumer spending. Across Quarter One of 2016, we saw the falling unemployment rate, but also subdued wage growth, as well as a falling consumer confidence rate which had a muting effect on consumer spending.

“Overall, we have seen that spending trends in Australia this year are moderately increasing and we maintain that this will continue in the near term”, said Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President, Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors.

The SpendingPulse report provides an early overview of market indices to help retailers, investors, card issuers, banks and government agencies in their decision-making processes. Available to subscribers across six countries including the United States, it is a reliable industry source for consumer spending trends and analysis.

“The aim of the SpendingPulse report is to offer invaluable insights to businesses and government agencies that they can act upon. In addition to the Australian SpendingPulse report, MasterCard has also established this report in several other countries to provide Australian companies doing business overseas with an accurate analysis of consumer spending in foreign markets”, said Andrew Cartwright, SVP and Country Manager, MasterCard Australia.

###

SpendingPulse™ Australia Methodology
MasterCard analyses the transactions processed by the MasterCard Australian payments network and uses statistical models, which take into account the trends of other payment methods (cash) to produce accurate and efficient reports. SpendingPulse Australia is based on a robust data sample drawn from all businesses accredited by MasterCard in Australia plus other additional data sources.

About MasterCard SpendingPulse™
Launched in 2006 by MasterCard Advisors, MasterCard SpendingPulse is a macroeconomic indicator that reports on national retail spending and performance. The report is based on aggregate sales activity on MasterCard cards, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash. MasterCard SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.

About MasterCard Advisors
MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard, provides clients around the world with insights and solutions that drive business impact and ROI. The company uses advanced analytics and deep payments expertise to translate data into actionable behavioral insights and customized services. With more than 43 billion anonymized transactions processed annually in 210 countries worldwide, the company leverages aggregated information and a consultative approach to help financial institutions, merchants, media companies, governments and other organizations of all sizes grow their businesses. For more information, go to http://www.mastercardadvisors.com/.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAU and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media Contacts:
Heather-Ann Cody | Weber Shandwick | hcody@webershandwick.com
Linda Kastanias | Weber Shandwick | lkastanias@webershandwick.com