Mastercard SpendingPulse, which the company said measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, jumped 7.2 percent year-over-year — and was buttressed by a 10.4 percent gain in online sales.
“Despite the shadow of Omicron and elevated inflation, consumer spending was buoyed by pent-up savings, wage growth and the continued reopening of the ‘experience economy,'” Mastercard said in a statement. “Beneficiaries included department stores, apparel and luxury, which all saw double-digit growth.”
With apparel, it was “new year, new looks,” according to Mastercard, which reported January sales rose 37.6 percent — which the company said was “the strongest growth rate for January in SpendingPulse history.”
“The apparel sector has experienced positive growth for 11 consecutive months as consumers refresh wardrobes and dress to impress for gatherings and events taking place in 2022,” Mastercard said. “Department stores have similarly gained from resurgent spending, with January sales up 10.5 percent (year-over-year) and 9.8 percent versus pre-pandemic levels.”
Mastercard said the luxury goods segment jumped 45.3 percent in January while jewelry sales rose 19.8 percent.
“Coming on the heels of the holidays, January typically marks a month of returns and exchanges. However, the strong growth across sectors reflects the optimism and eagerness for the year ahead,” said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard and former chief executive officer and chairman of Saks Inc. “With nearly all sectors up, we see consumers returning to their shopping habits with a continued emphasis on digital.”
Mastercard said some of the key retail trends in January included a “shift back to services.” Mastercard said the pandemic “arrested a decades-long trend of more spending on services versus goods. Since the middle of last year, this tide has begun to shift back to services — or experiences — as consumers resume in-person activities.”
Regarding dining out, Mastercard said restaurant sales jumped 36.7 percent in January on a year-over-year basis and rose 16.6 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. With e-commerce, Mastercard said sales growth “shows no signs of stopping, with double-digit increases in January even compared to the strong base in 2021.”
“Compared to pre-pandemic levels, e-commerce sales were up 110.1 percent, underscoring the sustained and significant nature of the shift to digital,” the company said.