MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report reveals increase in online retail sales

PURCHASE, N.Y. — MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse revealed that online retail sales rose 14% over the year-ago period, marking the 24th straight month of year-over-year growth, as well as the ninth consecutive month of double-digit growth, with improvement in every subcategory except for electronics.

The macroeconomic report, which tracks national retail and services sales, noted that 14% year-over-year growth for the overall online retail category, however, was the smallest increase for e-commerce since February 2011, and is an expected seasonal slowing. Overall, various sectors in retail were sluggish for the month.

“Sector weaknesses are the result of a variety of drivers,” MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse VP research and analysis Michael McNamara said.

McNamara added that consumers paid about $1 more per gallon of gasoline in July 2011 that the year-ago period, which potentially could have put a damper on sales. “At about 10.9 billion gallons pumped this July, that price increase is redirecting almost $11 billion per month towards gasoline spending and away from other areas of consumer spending, or savings,” he said.

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