Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. retail sales up +4.7% year over year in March

April 6, 2023 | Purchase, NY

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, U.S. retail sales excluding automotive were up +4.7% year-over-year (YOY) in March. Mastercard SpendingPulse reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.

At a national level, while nominal spending growth was down slightly compared to February (+6.9% YOY), spending trends in March were consistent with those experienced earlier this year. E-commerce sales were up +13.0% YOY and in-store sales were up +2.8% YOY. Lodging (+23.5%), Restaurants (+11.6%) and Grocery (+5.6%) were key drivers for the month’s year-over-year growth. On the other hand, Home Improvement, Home Furniture & Furnishings and Electronics sectors continued to experience a dip in YOY growth as consumers prioritized experiences and essentials.

“There are a number of factors influencing how today’s consumer is shopping including inflation, the labor market, food and gas prices, and the path of interest rates,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “But they’re still spending -- we’re seeing varied growth sector by sector, with purchases largely shifting to necessities and experiences.”

Media Contacts

Raul Lopez, Mastercard
(914) 841-7049 |

About Mastercard SpendingPulse

Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. Insights are preliminary and subject to change.

Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “U.S. retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes. Sales activity within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included in the total retail sales figure. For more information about Mastercard SpendingPulse or to subscribe, visit the product page or the AWS Data Exchange.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.