July 8, 2010, 2:56 PM

Online spending grew nearly 9.7% in June

June is the first month this year in which online growth was less than 10%.

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E-commerce sales grew 9.7% year over year in June, snapping a string of eight consecutive months of double digit e-commerce growth, MasterCard Advisors reported today in its monthly SpendingPulse report.

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

Compared to the first quarter, growth in June was markedly slower—even with Memorial Day falling within the period MasterCard considers June (MasterCard’s figures include transactions from Sunday, May 30, through Saturday, June 30), says Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for SpendingPulse. “While there were spending shifts from May to June between industry sectors and segments, several sectors continue to show very modest growth compared to the building sales momentum in the first quarter of 2010,” he says.

Declining consumer confidence contributed to the lower overall retail sales, and also correlated with weakness in higher-priced discretionary spending and in durable goods such as appliances or furniture.

The best-performing e-commerce category was apparel, which posted 18.6% growth, the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth. MasterCard noted that online purchases of women’s apparel, which was one of the weaker apparel subcategories overall, grew 3.8%.

While MasterCard did not provide an estimate for overall retail growth in June, the report notes that overall spending on luxury goods fell 3.9% year over year. However, the comparison with 2009 is difficult because luxury sales tend to fluctuate with stock market performance, which helps account for the category’s weak performance in June, McNamara says.

In a separate study, Kantar Retail reported 3.2% growth in same-store sales for 30 publicly held retail companies in June. That report excludes Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

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