U.S. restaurant credit, debit card spending rose 5.6% year-over-year in May, while credit card transactions rose 9.2% and average check-per-card transaction declined 3.3%, card payment processor says

LOS ANGELES , June 13, 2012 () – U.S. restaurant credit and debit card spending rose 5.6% year-over-year in May, First Data Corp. said, Nation’s Restaurant News reported June 12.

During this period, restaurant credit card transactions rose 9.2% and the average check-per-card transaction size declined 3.3% after rising 0.1% in April, the card payment processor added.

In March, all industries had an overall transaction growth of 5.9% and an overall average-ticket growth of 1%, which constituted the largest increase since February. The restaurant industry’s transaction growth during this period was bested only by the travel and services sectors, respectively, which saw a transaction growth of 20.4% and 11.5%, First Data noted.

In comparison to other recent quarters:

        • During the second quarter of 2011, restaurants' same-store credit and debit card spending rate increased 8.1% while the number of transactions increased 10% and the average
           check size declined 1.7%.

        • During the third quarter of 2011, restaurants' same-store credit and debit card spending rate increased 8.2% while the number of transactions increased 9.9% and the average check
           size declined 1.5%.

        • During the fourth quarter of 2011, restaurants' same-store credit and debit card spending rate increased 9.7% while the number of transactions increased 11.3% and the average
           check size declined 1.4%.

        • During the first quarter of 2012, restaurants' same-store credit and debit card spending rate increased 10.1% while the number of transactions increased 12.6% and the average    
           check size declined 2.3%.

Consumers could potentially continue to be cautious regarding their discretionary spending levels, driven by concerns over “the languishing stock market” and the weakness of the job market, First Data said. This would then, in turn, further depress restaurants’ rate of growth for spending, transactions and the average size of checks, the card payment processor added.

The primary source of this article is Nation’s Restaurant News, New York, New York, on June 12, 2012.

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