First Data reported stores saw 6.1 percent dollar volume growth in December compared to the same month last year, with holiday shopping concentrated in that month given the late Thanksgiving holiday. That was a bump over November's 4.4 percent dollar volume growth.
The payments processing firm said the growth was supported by extended store hours, before and after Christmas, and promotions that lured in last-minute shoppers hunting for bargains.
“Spending growth was strong in December as shoppers were more confident and enjoyed stronger income growth compared to 2012, which encouraged consumers to open up their wallets this holiday season,” said Krish Mantripragada, First Data senior vice president.
He said spending growth on credit cards, up 7.8 percent compared to last December, hit a four-month high, with consumers increasingly turning to credit for discretionary holiday purchases.
First Data's monthly SpendTrend report tracks same-store point-of-sale data by credit, debit, gift cards and checks from nearly 4 million U.S. store locations serviced by First Data.