Retail sales see modest Q2 growth, but e-commerce fares better: MasterCard

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US retail sales experienced slow growth during the second quarter of 2010, but e-commerce fared better, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse report, released August 12.

The three-month average year-over-year growth rate was 1% for general retail sales, well below the 3.5% increase in the previous quarter.

“There was a reluctance for consumers to point their wallets at the higher-priced items, as well as the discretionary areas, such as apparel, jewelry and luxury,” said Michael McNamara, VP of research and analysis at SpendingPulse. “Generally, we saw the recovery have an improvement in the first quarter. Since then, we've been in a bit of a trough.”

A “silver lining,” according to McNamara, was online sales, which increased more than 10% during the second quarter.

In July, retail sales grew 1.4% year over year, while they increased by 0.9% year over year during June. However, the increase was 1% in July when excluding automobile and gasoline sales, slightly below June's 1.1% increase.

The report analyzes national retail and service sales and is based on payments using MasterCard, cash and check.

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