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Monday, November 24, 2008

Mastercard says you tightwads still aren't spending

The real balance sheet that is struggling is not at Citigroup -- it's yours and mine. The consumer is tapped out of credit, in danger of being laid off and hunkered down. Mastercard reported some pretty grim spending trends this morning:

Specialty apparel down 19%
Electronics sales down 22%
Luxury items down 21%
E-commerce as a whole down 7.5%

In related news, Santa laid off 20% of his elves.

E-commerce is less affected because e-commerce tends to grow at a more accelerated pace due to the secular shift to online purchasing. Keep in mind that Amazon has forecast a 15% rise in year over year sales for the December quarter. Down would be a disaster. The overall trend seems in line with the year over year declines in October.

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