Small Retailers Outperforming Total Retail Sales Year-to-Date, Year-over-Year, says MasterCard.

A SpendingPulse™ report released today by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard (NYSE:MA) in partnership with Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), America’s leading small business lender, found that spending at small retailers in September increased 5.6% year over year, strong, but down slightly from a 6.8% growth rate in August. While this was the slowest year-over-year growth rate for 2012, smaller retailers were still ahead of overall U.S. retail growth by 1.5%.

The September report also found that when gasoline sales are removed, the year-over-year sales growth rate fell to 5.2%. Michael McNamara, Global Solutions Leader, MasterCard SpendingPulse, said, “The slower pace of sales at small retailers is consistent with overall U.S. retail sales.

Marc Bernstein, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo added, “While it’s clear that sales for smaller retailers are growing at a slower rate from earlier in the year, the increase in year-over-year sales trends points to an improving environment for many small businesses,

Launched in July, 2012, the monthly report MasterCard SpendingPulse for Small Business, looks at retailers with less than $35 million in annual sales and less than 200 employees, a small percentage of which have more than $10 million in annual sales. Each report includes information about current retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline), year-over-year growth in total retail sales (excluding automotive sales), as well as views with and without food services. In the U.S., small retailers account for over $100 billion in retail sales excluding automobiles per month.

A macro‐economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with estimates for all other payment forms, including cash and check. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide