TeleCheck Reports March Same-Store Retail Sales Rise 2.9 Percent; Retail Spending Marches Ahead in Spite of Slowing Economy

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from TeleCheck Services, Inc.

    HOUSTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Same-store retail sales for March rose a
 modest 2.9 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled
 by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world's leading check acceptance company.
 TeleCheck's figures show an increase in retail spending despite rolling
 blackouts in California, severe weather in the Northeast and generally slow
 economic conditions nationwide.  The Southeast region led the nation, followed
 by the Southwest, the West and the Midwest (tied), the Mid-Atlantic 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 increase in sales in the retail sector is encouraging considering the
 volatile state of the national economy over the last several months," said
 Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck's Senior Economic Adviser.  "Also, Easter falls
 two weeks earlier this year than last and consumers may already be purchasing
 gifts in response to retailers' aggressive spring promotions.  The earlier
 holiday, coupled with an extra weekend shopping day this March as compared
 with 2000, contributed to the sales growth."
     Sales rose 3.5 percent in the Southeast.  In Louisiana, sales grew
 5.2 percent and in The Carolinas, sales increased 4.5 percent.  Sales were up
 3.8 percent in Florida, 2.3 percent in Georgia and 2.0 percent in Tennessee.
 Sales increased 5.4 percent in New Orleans, 4.1 percent in Miami/Ft.
 Lauderdale, 3.9 percent in Orlando, 3.1 percent in Tampa, 2.2 percent in
 Nashville, 2.0 percent in Atlanta and 1.9 percent in Memphis.
     In the Southwest, sales rose 3.3 percent.  Texas' sales rose 3.5 percent,
 Oklahoma's sales jumped 3.4 percent and Missouri's grew 2.8 percent.  Sales in
 Houston increased 3.9 percent, sales in Tulsa climbed 3.8 percent, sales in
 Dallas/Ft. Worth grew 3.7 percent and sales in Austin were up 3.6 percent.
 Kansas City's sales increased 3.2 percent, Oklahoma City's sales rose
 3.1 percent, San Antonio's sales grew 3.0 percent and sales in St. Louis
 climbed 2.4 percent.
     Sales in the Midwest climbed 3.2 percent, with Minnesota up 4.4 percent,
 Michigan up 3.5 percent, Wisconsin up 3.2 percent, Illinois up 2.6 percent and
 Ohio up 2.1 percent.  Sales grew by 4.2 percent in Detroit, 3.6 percent in
 Minneapolis/St. Paul, 3.4 percent in Milwaukee, 2.7 percent in Chicago and
 2.2 percent in Cleveland.
     The West was up 3.2 percent, with sales increasing 5.5 percent in Hawaii,
 4.0 percent in Colorado, 2.7 percent in both Oregon and Arizona, 2.4 percent
 in California and 2.3 percent in Washington.  Sales rose 4.2 percent in
 Denver, 3.1 percent in Portland, 2.5 percent in Los Angeles, 2.3 percent in
 both the Bay Area and Phoenix, 2.2 percent in San Diego and 1.9 percent in
 Seattle.
     The Mid-Atlantic's sales increased 2.0 percent.  Pennsylvania's sales were
 up 3.7 percent, Virginia's sales increased 1.9 percent, Maryland's sales rose
 1.6 percent and New Jersey's sales grew 0.9 percent.  Pittsburgh saw sales
 jump 4.4 percent, Philadelphia's sales grew 3.1 percent, Baltimore's sales
 grew 1.9 percent and the District of Columbia saw sales rise 1.2 percent.
     The Northeast region's sales grew a modest 0.5 percent.  Sales rose
 1.2 percent in New York and declined 1.3 percent in Massachusetts.  New York
 City saw sales increase by 1.4 percent, while Boston's sales decreased by
 1.2 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
 www.telecheck.com.
 
 
     Retail Sales
     (Period: 3/1/01-3/31/01)
     April 3, 2001
 
     NATIONAL             2.9%
 
     SOUTHEAST            3.5%  WEST           3.2%  MIDWEST               3.2%
     Florida              3.8%  Arizona        2.7%  Illinois              2.6%
      Miami/
       Ft. Lauderdale     4.1%   Phoenix       2.3%   Chicago              2.7%
      Orlando             3.9%  California     2.4%  Michigan              3.5%
      Tampa               3.1%   Bay Area      2.3%   Detroit              4.2%
     Louisiana            5.2%   Los Angeles   2.5%  Minnesota             4.4%
      New Orleans         5.4%   San Diego     2.2%   Minneapolis/St. Paul 3.6%
     Georgia              2.3%  Oregon         2.7%  Wisconsin             3.2%
      Atlanta             2.0%   Portland      3.1%    Milwaukee           3.4%
     Tennessee            2.0%  Washington     2.3%  Ohio                  2.1%
      Memphis             1.9%   Seattle       1.9%    Cleveland           2.2%
      Nashville           2.2%  Colorado       4.0%
     The Carolinas        4.5%   Denver        4.2%  MID-ATLANTIC          2.0%
                                Hawaii         5.5%  District of Columbia  1.2%
     SOUTHWEST            3.3%                       Pennsylvania          3.7%
     Texas                3.5%  NORTHEAST      0.5%   Philadelphia         3.1%
      Austin              3.6%  Massachusetts -1.3%   Pittsburgh           4.4%
      Dallas/Ft. Worth    3.7%   Boston       -1.2%  New Jersey            0.9%
      Houston             3.9%  New York       1.2%  Virginia              1.9%
      San Antonio         3.0%   New York City 1.4%  Maryland              1.6%
     Missouri             2.8%                        Baltimore            1.9%
      Kansas City         3.2%
      St. Louis           2.4%
     Oklahoma             3.4%
      Oklahoma City       3.1%
      Tulsa               3.8%
 
 

SOURCE TeleCheck Services, Inc.
    HOUSTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Same-store retail sales for March rose a
 modest 2.9 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled
 by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world's leading check acceptance company.
 TeleCheck's figures show an increase in retail spending despite rolling
 blackouts in California, severe weather in the Northeast and generally slow
 economic conditions nationwide.  The Southeast region led the nation, followed
 by the Southwest, the West and the Midwest (tied), the Mid-Atlantic 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 increase in sales in the retail sector is encouraging considering the
 volatile state of the national economy over the last several months," said
 Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck's Senior Economic Adviser.  "Also, Easter falls
 two weeks earlier this year than last and consumers may already be purchasing
 gifts in response to retailers' aggressive spring promotions.  The earlier
 holiday, coupled with an extra weekend shopping day this March as compared
 with 2000, contributed to the sales growth."
     Sales rose 3.5 percent in the Southeast.  In Louisiana, sales grew
 5.2 percent and in The Carolinas, sales increased 4.5 percent.  Sales were up
 3.8 percent in Florida, 2.3 percent in Georgia and 2.0 percent in Tennessee.
 Sales increased 5.4 percent in New Orleans, 4.1 percent in Miami/Ft.
 Lauderdale, 3.9 percent in Orlando, 3.1 percent in Tampa, 2.2 percent in
 Nashville, 2.0 percent in Atlanta and 1.9 percent in Memphis.
     In the Southwest, sales rose 3.3 percent.  Texas' sales rose 3.5 percent,
 Oklahoma's sales jumped 3.4 percent and Missouri's grew 2.8 percent.  Sales in
 Houston increased 3.9 percent, sales in Tulsa climbed 3.8 percent, sales in
 Dallas/Ft. Worth grew 3.7 percent and sales in Austin were up 3.6 percent.
 Kansas City's sales increased 3.2 percent, Oklahoma City's sales rose
 3.1 percent, San Antonio's sales grew 3.0 percent and sales in St. Louis
 climbed 2.4 percent.
     Sales in the Midwest climbed 3.2 percent, with Minnesota up 4.4 percent,
 Michigan up 3.5 percent, Wisconsin up 3.2 percent, Illinois up 2.6 percent and
 Ohio up 2.1 percent.  Sales grew by 4.2 percent in Detroit, 3.6 percent in
 Minneapolis/St. Paul, 3.4 percent in Milwaukee, 2.7 percent in Chicago and
 2.2 percent in Cleveland.
     The West was up 3.2 percent, with sales increasing 5.5 percent in Hawaii,
 4.0 percent in Colorado, 2.7 percent in both Oregon and Arizona, 2.4 percent
 in California and 2.3 percent in Washington.  Sales rose 4.2 percent in
 Denver, 3.1 percent in Portland, 2.5 percent in Los Angeles, 2.3 percent in
 both the Bay Area and Phoenix, 2.2 percent in San Diego and 1.9 percent in
 Seattle.
     The Mid-Atlantic's sales increased 2.0 percent.  Pennsylvania's sales were
 up 3.7 percent, Virginia's sales increased 1.9 percent, Maryland's sales rose
 1.6 percent and New Jersey's sales grew 0.9 percent.  Pittsburgh saw sales
 jump 4.4 percent, Philadelphia's sales grew 3.1 percent, Baltimore's sales
 grew 1.9 percent and the District of Columbia saw sales rise 1.2 percent.
     The Northeast region's sales grew a modest 0.5 percent.  Sales rose
 1.2 percent in New York and declined 1.3 percent in Massachusetts.  New York
 City saw sales increase by 1.4 percent, while Boston's sales decreased by
 1.2 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
 www.telecheck.com.
 
 
     Retail Sales
     (Period: 3/1/01-3/31/01)
     April 3, 2001
 
     NATIONAL             2.9%
 
     SOUTHEAST            3.5%  WEST           3.2%  MIDWEST               3.2%
     Florida              3.8%  Arizona        2.7%  Illinois              2.6%
      Miami/
       Ft. Lauderdale     4.1%   Phoenix       2.3%   Chicago              2.7%
      Orlando             3.9%  California     2.4%  Michigan              3.5%
      Tampa               3.1%   Bay Area      2.3%   Detroit              4.2%
     Louisiana            5.2%   Los Angeles   2.5%  Minnesota             4.4%
      New Orleans         5.4%   San Diego     2.2%   Minneapolis/St. Paul 3.6%
     Georgia              2.3%  Oregon         2.7%  Wisconsin             3.2%
      Atlanta             2.0%   Portland      3.1%    Milwaukee           3.4%
     Tennessee            2.0%  Washington     2.3%  Ohio                  2.1%
      Memphis             1.9%   Seattle       1.9%    Cleveland           2.2%
      Nashville           2.2%  Colorado       4.0%
     The Carolinas        4.5%   Denver        4.2%  MID-ATLANTIC          2.0%
                                Hawaii         5.5%  District of Columbia  1.2%
     SOUTHWEST            3.3%                       Pennsylvania          3.7%
     Texas                3.5%  NORTHEAST      0.5%   Philadelphia         3.1%
      Austin              3.6%  Massachusetts -1.3%   Pittsburgh           4.4%
      Dallas/Ft. Worth    3.7%   Boston       -1.2%  New Jersey            0.9%
      Houston             3.9%  New York       1.2%  Virginia              1.9%
      San Antonio         3.0%   New York City 1.4%  Maryland              1.6%
     Missouri             2.8%                        Baltimore            1.9%
      Kansas City         3.2%
      St. Louis           2.4%
     Oklahoma             3.4%
      Oklahoma City       3.1%
      Tulsa               3.8%
 
 SOURCE  TeleCheck Services, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.firstdatacorp.com