Canadian consumer spending rises in the fourth quarter of 2014 following three consecutive flat quarters

January 19, 2015 Moneris

2014 ends on a high note with strong holiday buying season driving overall Q4 spending up 3.8 per cent. 

TORONTO, ON – January 19, 2015 – Canadian consumer spending rose by 3.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2014 following three consecutive quarters of stagnant growth, according to the Quarterly Spending Report released by Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”), Canada’s largest credit and debit card processor.

According to Moneris, spending across Canada rose by 3.5 per cent in October, 6.1 per cent in November and 4.0 per cent in December. Among the provinces, spending rises were strongest in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, which posted gains of 6.8 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively. Ontario and British Columbia followed closely behind, with gains of 4.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively. Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan posted growth of 1.1 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

Credit card spending accounted for 63.3 per cent of total spending processed by Moneris, with debit cards making up 36.7 per cent. Overall spending using credit cards and debit cards increased as well (+5.0 per cent and +1.8 per cent respectively).

Holiday shopping season

The period beginning with Black Friday and continuing through to Boxing Day continued to be an important sales driver for Canadian retailers in 2014. The impressive gains posted among many categories during this period rounded off an encouraging quarter for many merchants.

- Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris.

  • Black Friday beat out Boxing Day this year with total sales being 5 per cent higher.
  • The pace of growth was slower on Black Friday (5.1 per cent) compared to the days leading up to, and immediately following, Christmas.
  • Growth during December 19-24 was up 7.0 per cent and 7.9 per cent during December 26-30, compared to the same periods last year.
  • December 23rd was once again the busiest shopping day of the year.

Gas and Transportation

Coinciding with the recent drop in gas prices, Moneris reported a 6 percent decline in the cost per transaction of gas over the quarter. The most marked decline was seen in December, with an overall decrease of 15 per cent in cost per transaction.

Canadians are spending significantly more on transportation compared to the same period last year. Overall spending on transportation rose 11.4 per cent in Q4 with the largest increase occurring in November (+13.5 per cent). In particular, taxicabs and airlines experienced growth increases of 9.8 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively, likely due to heightened activity during the holiday season.

Food and entertainment

Sales at fast food restaurants and dine-in restaurants both increased (+7.8 per cent and +5.4 per cent, respectively) compared to the same period in 2013. Strong November growth (+11.3 per cent) at household stores led the category to an overall increase of 6.5 per cent and a 4.2 per cent growth in the number of transactions.

Consumers spent less on entertainment in the last quarter of 2014 than the previous year (-0.9 per cent), with the greatest decrease taking place in October (-2.5 per cent) followed by November (-1.6 per cent) and a slight increase in December (+1.0 per cent).

Apparel

Sales at sports apparel stores rose 8.5 per cent with the number of transactions up 9.0 per cent. Shoe stores and the luggage and leather goods category both posted gains of nearly 5 per cent (+4.7 per cent and +4.8 per cent respectively). However, some interesting trends emerged: When it came to apparel and specialty retail, consumer spending on Boxing Day outpaced Black Friday (+2.7 per cent for apparel and +5.2 per cent for specialty retail). In particular, spending on men’s clothing almost doubled (+99.3 per cent) on Boxing Day with sporting apparel considerably higher as well (+45.0 per cent).

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 merchants — compared to the sales volumes from the prior year.

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 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.

For more information: 

Katherine Heydon 
FleishmanHillard 
416-645-3665 
Katherine.heydon@fleishman.ca

About the Author

Moneris

Moneris processes more than 3 billion credit and debit card transactions a year, for over 350,000 merchant locations across North America. We have over 1,300 dedicated employees who understand transaction processing and know how to make it work for you.

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