Consumer spending at small retailers grew by 2.7% in February 2013 compared to a year ago, according to the latest SpendingPulse for Small Business Report released today by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard .This is the largest margin by which smaller retailers have outpaced overall retail sales growth since July 2012, and continues a trend of outperformance in 16 of the past 17 months since September 2011.
The SpendingPulse report also showed that while sales growth was generally steady, spending in small restaurants did slow to some degree. Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President, Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors, said: “The severity and the timing of the major winter storms that occurred on weekends this February had a negative impact on spending at restaurants. Saturdays tend to be the busiest day of the week for restaurants, but winter storm Nemo essentially shut down New England on Saturday, February 9th. However, we did begin to see a positive pick-up in sales as the weather improved and consumer optimism returned.”
“In the first two months of 2013, small businesses continued their slow, uneven but steady recovery from the low point of the Great Recession,” Marc Bernstein, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo said, “Small retailers faced a steeper climb than larger retailers recovering from the Recession. This report is another indication that small retailers are gradually strengthening and growing sales.”
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