Consumer spending

Visa CEO Charles Scharf appointed to presidential youth council

The Obama administration announced last week the appointment of Visa CEO Charles Scharf as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. The council, which was established last June by executive order, seeks to counsel the president on ways to improve financial literacy among American youths and... Read More...

Survey: Financial discussions more difficult than religious, political talks

A recent survey released by Wells Fargo revealed that Americans consider discussing personal finances to be as difficult as discussing controversial topics such as religion and politics. According to the survey, 44 percent of Americans said personal finances is the most difficult topic to discuss with others, compared to 38 percent for death,... Read More...

Wells Fargo to hold financial education webinars for servicemembers

Wells Fargo announced last week that, in celebration of America Saves Week, it will offer three free financial education webinars on home-buying, budgeting and saving and credit aimed at military members, veterans and their families. America Saves Week, an annual campaign that involves more than 1,000 nonprofit and government groups encouraging... Read More...

OBL partners with FDIC to host America Saves Week informational webinar

The Ohio Bankers League recently partnered with the FDIC to host an America Saves Week webinar for financial institutions and other entities from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Feb. 25. Non-profit groups, government associations and financial institutions will seek to educate consumers on the importance of saving during America Saves Week, which takes... Read More...

Valentine’s Day spending expected to reach $37 billion

The latest data from American Express’ Spending & Saving Tracker revealed Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $37 billion as more Americans plan to spend for the holiday. Approximately 75 percent of U.S. consumers polled in the tracker said they will participate in Valentine’s Day, up from 69 percent in 2013. While more... Read More...

NCUF offers Biz Kid$ Financial Education grants for credit union organizations

The National Credit Union Foundation announced last week that credit union organizations are able to apply for Biz Kid$ Financial Education grants until March 31. Launched in January 2008, Biz Kid$ is a financial literacy initiative aimed at teaching kids between the ages of nine and 16 about money and business. It features a TV series, free... Read More...

Minnesota CU sponsors theatrical performances to teach students good financial habits

Minnesota-based Affinity Plus Credit Union recently partnered with the National Theatre for Children to sponsor 10 theatrical performances aimed at teaching middle school students good saving and spending habits. The performances—a series titled “Mad About Money II: Pay Yourself First”—were seen by more than 2,400 students in schools... Read More...

Building savings ranks No. 1 among American consumers’ 2014 resolutions

Recent data from American Express’ Spending and Saving Tracker showed building savings is the no. 1 resolution for Americans in 2014. According to the AmEx data, 54 percent of Americans plan to save more money over the coming year, compared to just 33 percent in 2013. Nearly half of Americans report feeling confident about their finances... Read More...

Online retail sales in Canada rise 22.2 percent in December

Online retail sales in Canada rose 22.2 percent in December, accounting for 7.8 percent of all retail sales during the month, according to recent data from the MasterCard SpendingPulse report. “Canadians are embracing eCommerce, and steady growth is no surprise,” Sarah Quinlan, the senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard... Read More...

Consumers to spend less in 2014, despite rising confidence in economy

Recent data from Discover showed that despite rising consumer confidence in the economy, Americans plan to spend less heading into 2014. Discover’s U.S. Spending Monitor held steady in December, as consumer confidence in the U.S. economy rose to the highest level since July. The number of consumers who believe the economy is improving rose to... Read More...

Consumer spending rises 0.5 percent in November

Data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed a 0.5 percent increase in consumer spending—the largest gain in five months—in November, adding to the 0.4 percent gain seen in October. In November, personal income rose 0.2 percent—$30.1 billion—and disposable personal income rose 0.1 percent—or $16.2 billion. In October,... Read More...

EU introduces new rules to bolster consumer protections

New rules introduced in the EU this month will give European shoppers additional consumer protections, especially online. Under the new rules--applicable to all 28 EU member states--consumers have 14 days to return online and mail order purchases for any reason. Merchants are required to refund the entire purchase, including shipping costs,... Read More...

Barclays estimates U.K. consumers will spend nearly $80 billion before holidays

Barclays recently issued a report that estimated that U.K. shoppers will spend a record $52.2 billion with their debit cards, compared to $24.4 billion in expected cash purchases. Consumer spending in the U.K. has risen 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Total spending on Mega Monday—in reference to the Monday following Black... Read More...

Groupon partners with Borderlinx to offer Canadian customers more goods, services

Groupon announced recently that it had selected Borderlinx solutions to help facilitate cross-border trade between the U.S. and Canada. Using Borderlinx’s cross-border trade technologies and solutions, Groupon will offer Canadian customers the ability to purchase a wider selection of goods and deals available in the U.S. and have them shipped... Read More...

Survey: Cash, gift cards top holiday wish lists

A survey released by American Express last week showed cash and gift cards topped holiday wish lists for the third consecutive year. Nineteen percent of Americans listed cash and gift cards at the top of their lists, down from 20 percent in 2011 and 2012. Twenty-seven percent of cash and gift card recipients plan to spend it on themselves,... Read More...

Study: More Americans make financial resolution for New Year

A recent study by Fidelity Investments showed that 54 percent of Americans are considering a financial resolution for New Year—a 54 percent increase from 2009. Approximately one-quarter of Americans said they are better financially positioned than they were last year, an increase of 19 percent from 2012. Of those considering a financial... Read More...

U.S. economy grows by 3.6 percent in third quarter

Data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday showed that the U.S. economy grew by 3.6 percent in the third quarter, following a 2.5 percent increase in the second quarter. The figures are the Commerce Department’s second estimate of economic growth, revised from an initial 2.8 percent last month. The revision reflects a jump... Read More...

Small Business Saturday contributes to 3.6 percent sales increase

Small businesses reported a 3.6 percent increase in sales at the beginning of the holiday shopping season—the result of increased awareness of Small Business Saturday. According to a survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday rose from 67 percent in... Read More...

Thanksgiving Day shopping increases 27 percent from 2012

A recent survey showed that Thanksgiving Day retail traffic rose 27 percent, with nearly 45 million shoppers—or 31.8 percent of holiday shoppers—taking advantage of holiday sales. The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation, showed that more than 141 million people already had or planned to... Read More...

Consumer confidence plummets to lowest in seven months

U.S. consumer confidence fell this month to 70.4, the lowest level in seven months, amid hiring and pay concerns—the drop comes after a plunge in consumer confidence resulting from the 16-day partial government shutdown. The declines for both September and October were driven in part by a decrease in hiring and economic expectations for the... Read More...

Retail sales rise 2.5 percent in October

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday showed October retail sales rose 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted from September and 4.2 percent year-over-year. “Consumer spending is growing as we head into the holiday shopping season and the timing couldn’t be better,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said.... Read More...

Personal income, consumer spending rise in September

Recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed increases of personal income and consumer spending by 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, during the month of September. Personal income increased $67.4 billion in September, and disposable personal income rose by $64.8 billion. The numbers exceeded economic forecasts of a 0.3... Read More...

Retail sales increase 0.4 percent in September

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week showed September retail and food service sales fell 0.1 percent from August but increased 3.2 percent year-over-year, and September retail sales, excluding auto sales, increased by 0.4 percent. “Retailers witnessed a solid sales performance in September, with marked gains in all sectors,... Read More...

Communities gear up for Small Business Saturday founded by AmEx

Communities across the U.S. plan to open their doors to shoppers on Small Business Saturday, a day founded by American Express in 2010 that is dedicated to supporting America’s small businesses during the holiday shopping season. Last year, consumers aware of the day reported spending $5.5 billion with small businesses. A large majority—or... Read More...

Discover ranked among top 500 technologically innovative companies

Discover was recently recognized by InformationWeek as one of America’s top technology innovators for providing consumers with convenience and choice through its flexible cash rewards program. The company was ranked 77 on the top-500 list, which is presented annually and recognizes companies that use innovative technology to transform their... Read More...

NRF urges Congress to end government shutdown, raise debt ceiling

The National Retail Federation urged Congress on Wednesday to end the budget impasse and pass a bill to end the government shutdown, expressing support for both continuing resolution and debt ceiling bills. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay pointed to economic data that indicates the government shutdown has had a negative impact on consumer... Read More...

SpendingPulse report: Retail sales continue to decline in September

A report released by MasterCard Advisors on Wednesday showed that U.S. retail sales continued to decline after peaking at 4.7 percent in June, with September retail sales up only three percent year-over-year—the result of a drop-off in gasoline spending. “The government shutdown could impact businesses and consumers in so many ways –... Read More...

Import volume to grow by 9.1 percent in October

Data from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates showed that import volume across the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase by 9.1 percent month-over-month in October, despite concerns over the government shutdown. “With the holidays nearly here, retailers are making sure their shelves are... Read More...

John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index drops amid disinterest in stocks

Financial services firm John Hancock Financial announced on Tuesday that its Investor Sentiment Index fell six points from its record high in the third quarter as a result of investors’ increasingly negative attitude towards investment in stocks. The index is a survey of affluent investors who are polled and asked about their thoughts and... Read More...

Halloween shoppers expected to spend less on festivities, decor

Data recently released by the National Retail Federation showed that approximately 158 million Americans will take part in Halloween festivities this year, a slight decrease from last year, and many will be looking to cut costs. The average Halloween shopper is expected to spend $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and activities — down from... Read More...

Retail sales edge up just 0.1 percent in August

Retail sales increased 0.1 percent in August from the previous month and 3.9 percent year-over-year, rising slower than anticipated. “Slow growth continues to be the economic story five years after the financial crisis,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The economy, employment, wages and retail sales... Read More...

International Bank of Azerbaijan launches new promotional campaign with Visa, Azercell

The state-controlled International Bank of Azerbaijan, mobile phone operator Azercell and Visa recently launched a joint promotion to allow customers to receive extra minutes when they pay their bills using a debit card. The offer is valid for all IBA-issued Visa debit cards, excluding pension, social and business cards. The bank will notify... Read More...

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