2012 pre-holiday spending up slightly from 2011

Moneris Spending Report shows a modest growth of 1.88 per cent

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest debit and credit card processor, announced today that 2012 pre-holiday consumer spending saw a modest increase of 1.88 per cent, compared to the same period in 2011.

Moneris analyzed credit and debit card transactions in Canada between November 29th and December 19th. During this period, the fast food category experienced the highest growth at 13.53 per cent in dollars spent, compared to last year, followed closely by entertainment and pet shops at 10.82 per cent and 10.56 per cent, respectively.

Conversely, the categories that experienced decreases in spending included book stores at -8.9 per cent, as well as department stores and travel, of -7.54 per cent and -6.39 per cent, respectively. In addition, radio, TV and stereo sales fell by -5.95 per cent during the period, compared to 2011.

While the overall number of transactions is up this year by 3.17 per cent, some categories have seen their average ticket decrease slightly, with restaurants experiencing a decrease of -7.10 per cent in ticket size in 2012. The average ticket size for apparel, however, is up slightly by 3.14 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Regionally, the prairies led the way in spending growth with Alberta seeing the biggest increase, of 4.8 per cent. Saskatchewan followed closely behind at 4.71, compared to the same period last year. An unexpected increase occurred in the Northwest Territories with spending up 4 per cent in 2012. Manitoba and Quebec both experienced moderate growth, with increases in spending of 2.88 per cent and 2.32 per cent, respectively. The Maritime provinces of PEI and Nova Scotia experienced decreases in dollars spent of -3.33 per cent and -2.05 per cent, respectively.

"Leading up to this year's holiday season, several reports have predicted a significant increase in spending over last year," says Jim Baumgartner, President and CEO, Moneris Solutions. "The Moneris Spending Report indicates that consumer confidence in Canada remains steady this pre-holiday season, despite the moderate growth. The significant spending increases, seen over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend this year, indicate that many Canadians may be looking to take advantage of retail sales. In light of this, we believe the largest period of spending growth will be seen closer to Christmas and during Boxing Day sales."

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.

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. Through its Ernex division, 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.

SOURCE Moneris Solutions Corporation



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