PURCHASE, N.Y. — Higher prices, particularly for such necessities as food and fuel, helped drive a 9.5% year-over-year retail sales increase in June. That figure is courtesy of Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, and excludes automotive sales. When spending on gasoline is also excluded, retail sales rose 6.1% year-over-year in June.
In-store spending (also excluding cars and gas) was up 11.7% year-over-year in June. And while e-commerce grew at a slower pace (1.1%), sales for e-commerce remained at roughly double June 2019 levels. Nominal spending growth is down slightly compared to May, though remains consistent with growth levels seen earlier in 2022.
The report notes that as inflation persists, consumers are paying more for essentials. Two of the categories that have higher inflation have seen corresponding big lifts in sales: June sales in the Fuel & Convenience sector were up 42.1% versus June 2021 and up 55.7% versus June 2019. June sales in the Grocery sector were up 14% versus June 2021 and up 24.8% versus June 2019.
Meanwhile, discretionary spending continued to drive growth across the fashion-forward sectors in June, including Jewelry (up 16.2% versus June 2021 and up +86.6% versus June 2019); Luxury (up 4% versus June 2021 and up 54% versus June 2019); and Department Stores (up 8.6% versus June 2021 and up 21.4% versus June 2019). And with summer in full swing, consumers continue to spend on travel experiences: Airline and Lodging spending were both up — airline up 18.2% versus June 2021 and 7.3% versus June 2019, and lodging up 33.7% versus June 2021 and 30.4% versus June 2019.
“Sector by sector, we’re seeing a varied picture of how inflation is impacting essential vs discretionary consumer spending,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “One notable highlight is that travel sectors such as airlines and lodging continue to show signs of strong demand.”