Same-store retail sales for April rose 3.1 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. Although some sectors of the economy are reporting sluggish growth, retail sales remain moderately strong. The Southeast region led the nation, followed by the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, the West and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 272,000 subscribing locations. Compiled on a calendar basis, TeleCheck’s index is based on a broad cross-section of retailers nationwide. Checks account for about one-third of retail spending and remain second only to cash as the most popular method of payment. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC).
“The Easter holiday fell two weeks earlier during April this year and consumers also had one less weekend day to shop. Nevertheless, same-store retail sales are surprisingly high despite this unfavorable calendar shift,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Adviser. “Even with widespread flooding in the Midwest, retail sales were moderately strong across the country and consistent with recent reports that the economy continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace.”
Sales rose a strong 4.5 percent in the Southeast. In Louisiana, sales grew 5.4 percent and in Georgia sales increased 5.2 percent. Sales were up 4.4 percent in The Carolinas, 4.2 percent in Florida and 4.0 percent in Tennessee. Sales increased 5.2 percent in New Orleans, 4.9 percent in Atlanta, 4.7 percent in Orlando, 4.2 percent in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, 4.1 percent in Memphis, 3.8 percent in Nashville and 3.6 percent in Tampa.
In the Southwest, sales rose 3.9 percent. Texas’ sales rose 4.4 percent, Oklahoma’s sales jumped 3.6 percent and Missouri’s grew 3.0 percent. Sales in Houston climbed 5.1 percent, sales in Dallas/Ft. Worth rose 4.2 percent, sales in both Austin and Oklahoma City grew 3.8 percent and sales in San Antonio were up 3.5 percent. Tulsa’s sales increased 3.4 percent, Kansas City’s sales rose 3.3 percent and sales in St. Louis climbed 2.7 percent.
The Mid-Atlantic’s sales increased 2.9 percent. Pennsylvania’s sales were up 3.8 percent, New Jersey’s sales increased 3.3 percent, Virginia’s sales rose 2.6 percent and Maryland’s sales grew 2.1 percent. Pittsburgh saw sales jump 4.1 percent, Philadelphia’s sales grew 3.6 percent, the District of Columbia saw sales rise 2.6 percent and Baltimore’s sales climbed 2.4 percent.
Sales in the Midwest climbed 2.7 percent, with Michigan up 3.6 percent, Wisconsin up 3.5 percent, Minnesota up 3.0 percent, Illinois up 2.4 percent and Ohio up 2.3 percent. Sales grew by 3.4 percent in Milwaukee, 3.3 percent in Detroit, 3.2 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 2.8 percent in Chicago and 2.1 percent in Cleveland.
The West was up 2.6 percent, with sales increasing 4.5 percent in Hawaii, 2.7 percent in Colorado, 2.5 percent in Oregon, 2.3 percent in Arizona, and 2.2 percent in both California and Washington. Sales rose 2.5 percent in the Bay Area, 2.3 percent in both San Diego and Denver, 2.0 percent in Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle, and 1.7 percent in Phoenix.
The Northeast region’s sales grew 1.5 percent. Sales rose 1.7 percent in Massachusetts and 1.5 percent in New York. Boston’s sales increased by 2.1 percent and New York City’s sales were up by 2.0 percent.
TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for approximately one-third of retail spending. In 2000, TeleCheck authorized more than $163 billion in checks, representing 3.2 billion transactions. For more information about TeleCheck, visit the Internet site at [http://www.telecheck.com].
Note: The TeleCheck logo and retail sales figures can be downloaded from the TeleCheck press center at [http://www.corporatenews.com/Te leCheck.html] or from PR Newswire and NewsCom.
Atlanta-based First Data Corp. powers the global economy. Serving nearly 2.5 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com].
Dr. William Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.
(Period: 04/01/01 – 04/30/01)
May 2, 2001
SOUTHEAST 4.5% WEST 2.6% MIDWEST 2.7%
Florida 4.2% Arizona 2.3% Illinois 2.4%
Lauderdale 4.2% Phoenix 1.7% Chicago 2.8%
Orlando 4.7% California 2.2% Michigan 3.6%
Tampa 3.6% Bay Area 2.5% Detroit 3.3%
Louisiana 5.4% Los Angeles 2.0% Minnesota 3.0%
New Orleans 5.2% San Diego 2.3% Minneapolis/
St. Paul 3.2%
Georgia 5.2% Oregon 2.5% Wisconsin 3.5%
Atlanta 4.9% Portland 2.0% Milwaukee 3.4%
Tennessee 4.0% Washington 2.2% Ohio 2.3%
Memphis 4.1% Seattle 2.0% Cleveland 2.1%
Nashville 3.8% Colorado 2.7%
The Carolinas 4.4% Denver 2.3% MID-ATLANTIC 2.9%
Hawaii 4.5% District of
SOUTHWEST 3.9% Pennsylvania 3.8%
Texas 4.4% NORTHEAST 1.5% Philadelphia 3.6%
Austin 3.8% Massachusetts 1.7% Pittsburgh 4.1%
Worth 4.2% Boston 2.1% New Jersey 3.3%
Houston 5.1% New York 1.5% Virginia 2.6%
San Antonio 3.5% New York City 2.0% Maryland 2.1%
Missouri 3.0% Baltimore 2.4%
Kansas City 3.3%
St. Louis 2.7%
Oklahoma City 3.8%