Moneris Spending Report shows a 0.84 per cent increase; long winter a
TORONTO, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - As temperatures dropped, Canadian
consumer spending cooled down too, according to Moneris Solutions
Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest credit and debit card
Moneris' Quarterly Spending Report for the first quarter of 2014
revealed that compared to the same period last year, consumer spending
rose only 0.84 per cent. March saw the largest increase of the quarter,
edging up 0.95 per cent, followed by January with a 0.90 per cent
increase. February experienced the smallest growth, with a modest 0.66
per cent gain.
"Since we began issuing this report in 2010, we have not reported a flat
quarter," said Angela Brown, President and CEO, Moneris Solutions
Corporation. "In fact, over the past six months, we have only seen
growth of 1.44 per cent, which is not typical."
Categories that have traditionally led quarterly growth remained
relatively flat the first three months of the year. Speciality retail
stores experienced a modest 0.58 per cent increase, while restaurant
spending picked up only 0.06 per cent. Other key categories saw small
declines, such as household purchases (-0.90 per cent), hotels (-1.35
per cent) and apparel (-1.35 per cent).
The cold proves costly
Not all categories were subject to modest gains in spending this
quarter. Spending on utilities saw the highest year-over-year increase
(19.15 per cent), likely reflecting increased heating costs as
Canadians dealt with a particularly long and cold winter. Similarly,
consumers were forced to spend more on their vehicles, with an increase
in maintenance and repair store (7.73 per cent), paint shop (18.74 per
cent), and wreckage and salvage yard (14.61 per cent) spending. These
increases are likely attributed to this year's harsh winter, poor road
conditions and, possibly, increased traffic collisions.
"As we have seen in the past, extreme or prolonged bouts of adverse
weather have had a measurable impact on the spending habits of
Canadians," said Brown. "The warm weather could not come soon enough
for a majority of Canadian retailers."
Ontario restaurant sales spike as a result of Games in Russia
Reason for national celebration helped drive the modest growth in
restaurant and bar spending as a result of Canada's hockey victories
during the February Games in Sochi, Russia. In particular, the Canadian
men's gold medal game against Sweden on February 23, 2014 saw Ontario's
restaurant category (excluding Toronto), experience an overall spending increase of 141.60 per cent, compared
to the same day last year.
In Toronto, the city council's vote to allow bars and restaurants to
serve alcohol as early as 7:00 a.m. during the men's gold medal game,
helped increase bar and restaurant sales within the city by an
incredible 876.60 per cent on that day.
Credit still the favourite amongst Canadians
The Spending Report also demonstrated a continued preference towards
paying with credit, as Canadian credit card spending grew 1.83 per cent
while debit purchases dropped -0.63 per cent. Interestingly,
contactless credit transactions jumped 85.77 per cent, indicating that
both retailers and consumers are taking advantage of easier and faster
Among Canada's provinces, Saskatchewan led spending growth, with a 2.90
per cent year-over-year increase, followed by Alberta, with a 2.78 per
cent gain. Ontario saw a modest 1.32 per cent spending bump. Quebec,
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia experienced the smallest gains in Q1
2014, compared to the same period last year (-2.16 per cent, -1.84 per
cent and -0.89 per cent, respectively).
About The Moneris Spending Report
The Moneris Spending Report provides a snapshot of consumer spending
activity in Canada by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data.
As the market leader with the largest merchant base, Moneris presents
detailed analysis and insight on a quarterly basis. The percentages
cited are derived from actual sales volumes - the dollar values of
credit and debit card transactions being processed by Moneris
About Moneris Solutions
As one of North America's largest providers of payment processing
solutions, Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris") offers credit,
debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants in virtually
every industry segment and processes more than three billion
transactions, annually. Moneris also offers electronic loyalty and
stored-value gift card programs. With more than 350,000 merchant
locations, Moneris provides the hardware, software and systems needed
to improve business efficiency and manage payments. For more
information please visit www.moneris.com.
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/04/23/20140423_C4531_DOC_EN_39493.pdf
SOURCE: Moneris Solutions Corporation
For further information:
416-640-5525, ext. 245