Merchant gift card redemptions increased 7% during the week that ended Dec. 6 compared with the year-earlier period, according to First Data Corp.

The Atlanta unit of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. based its findings on aggregate transaction data from its gift card processing business. It announced the findings last week.

First Data said the numbers indicate that consumers already are redeeming gift cards they have received as incentive to make other purchases. Overall, the dollar value of gift cards activated during the week was up 4.4%, while the number of gift cards sold increased 2.3% year over year. (The company did not provide specific numbers.)

The average gift card amount increased to $32.10, from $31.48 last year.

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