September 1, 2010, 3:43 PM

E-commerce spending increases 7.2% in August

MasterCard report shows slowest monthly growth of 2010.

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E-commerce spending increased 7.2% year over year in August, slipping back into single-digit growth, MasterCard Advisors reported today in its monthly SpendingPulse report. The August growth in e-commerce is the smallest year-over-year increase in 2010, MasterCard says.

MasterCard says that overall, sales in most categories recorded a slight year-over-year gain compared with the prior month.  But SpendingPulse did not include figures for overall retail sales.

The report, from MasterCard Worldwide consulting unit MasterCard Advisors, provides estimates for retail sales from all payment forms, not just MasterCard cards. MasterCard does not release actual spending figures.

The July SpendingPulse report showed a 10.9% year-over-year increase, with online apparel spending growing 13.7% year over year.  Apparel in August also registered double-digit growth, though MasterCard did not release the figure; total U.S. apparel sales gained 2.6%. The only e-commerce sector that showed no growth was electronics, with a 0.1% decrease, the payment card network says. Online jewelry sales increased 2% year over year.

“Categories such as apparel and electronics appear to have been helped by the back-to-school season, which tends to peak in August, although some spending in apparel can be pushed back into September as parents delay purchasing fall and winter clothing until cooler weather conditions set in,” says Michael McNamara, the vice president of research and analysis for SpendingPulse.

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