Americans are still spending less at the local grocer or pizza joint, or at least using their credit or debit cards less, according to data released Monday.
Credit and debit card sales at the nation's small and midsize retailers and restaurants fell 12.15% during the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the report from Capital Access Network Inc., the parent of AdvanceMe Inc., which makes cash advances to small businesses.
It was the ninth-straight quarterly decline, though the pace of year-over-year shrinkage slowed from 14.84% in the third quarter.
Restaurants where the average bill is less than $25 have done better than more expensive restaurants, the report said. Their card sales fell 4.29%, compared with 8.08% at restaurants where the average ticket is $100 or more.
The quarterly report uses data from more than 50,000 small businesses that average $785,000 in annual gross sales and $24,000 in average annual card processing volume.