Latest MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business Report Shows Smaller Retailers Up 2.7% in February; Widest Growth Margin Against Overall Retail in 7 Months

 Tweet this news: #MasterCard #SpendingPulse & @WellsFargo report small retailers outpace overall #retail sales growth; up 2.7% in Feb

PURCHASE, N.Y., and SAN FRANCISCO – [March 21, 2013] – Consumer spending at small retailers grew by 2.7 percent in February 2013 compared to a year ago/, according to the latest SpendingPulse™ for Small Business  Report released today by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard (NYSE:MA), in partnership with Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), America’s  No. 1 small business lender. This is the largest margin by which smaller retailers have outpaced overall retail sales growth since July 2012, and continues a trend of outperformance in 16 of the past 17 months since September 2011.

The SpendingPulse report also showed that while sales growth was generally steady, spending in small restaurants did slow to some degree.  Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President, Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors, said: “The severity and the timing of the major winter storms that occurred on weekends this February had a negative impact on spending at restaurants. Saturdays tend to be the busiest day of the week for restaurants, but winter storm Nemo essentially shut down New England on Saturday, February 9th. However, we did begin to see a positive pick-up in sales as the weather improved and consumer optimism returned.”

“In the first two months of 2013, small businesses continued their slow, uneven but steady recovery from the low point of the Great Recession,” Marc Bernstein, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo said, “Small retailers faced a steeper climb than larger retailers recovering from the Recession. This report is another indication that small retailers are gradually strengthening and growing sales.

/Methodology note: Due to the leap year in 2012, there were 29 days in the month of February 2012 and 28 days in February 2013. The extra day is included in the estimate in this report.  Attempting to adjust for the difference by comparing the same number of days for 2012 and 2013 would result in a higher year-over-year increase.

About MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business

Launched in July 2012, MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business is a monthly report that looks at retailers with less than $35 million in annual sales and less than 200 employees, a small percentage of which have more than $10 million in annual sales.  Each report includes information about current retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline), year-over-year growth in total retail sales (excluding automotive sales), as well as views with and without food services. In the U.S., small retailers account for over $100 billion in retail sales excluding automobiles per month.

About MasterCard SpendingPulse

A macro‐economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. 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.  SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide 

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000  team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Wells Fargo loans more money to America’s small businesses than any other bank (2002-2011 Community Reinvestment Act government data) and is a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses. Wells Fargo provides a wide range of financial solutions to meet the needs of business owners nationwide. Through the Wells Fargo Business Insight Resource Center, business owners can access an informative selection of videos and articles featuring expert advice and best practices. For more information visit or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.

About MasterCard Advisors

MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard Worldwide, 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 80 billion anonymized transactions processed in 210 countries worldwide, the company leverages aggregated information and a consultative approach to help financial institutions, merchants, media companies, governments and other organizations grow their businesses. For more information, go to

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, 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 @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

Media Contacts:

For MasterCard:

Marisa Grimes


For Wells Fargo:

Alice Hartnett





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