Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Weekend Purchases by Check Dip 5.2%

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Weekend Purchases by Check Dip 5.2%

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Oklahoma shoppers' amount of total purchases by checks verified through TeleCheck Services Inc. Friday and Saturday were down 5.2 percent from the total amount for the same weekend of 1991, spokesman Ken Wait said Tuesday.

The two-day percentage was only slightly improved from 5.6 percent for Friday only. "It was a 40-basis-point improvement, which wasn't that great," Wait said.

TeleCheck's retail index is a year-over-year comparison of retail activity based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers. It is collected from about 10,000 of TeleCheck's 100,000 subscribing retailers, which the company said represent a cross-section of all retailers.

For Friday only, the number of checks written was 9.3 percent lower, compared with the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1991. Considering Friday and Saturday together, the number of checks written in Oklahoma stores was 9.4 percent lower, Wait said.

Average check size for the two days was $118.84, or 4.6 percent bigger than the same two days in 1991.

Wait said the Oklahoma results were poorer than such locales as Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, all of which had improved figures when Friday and Saturday were considered together.

"So it would appear to me that you just don't have enough people out buying," he said.

Retailers across the country had a cumulative sales increase of 4.1 percent for Friday and Saturday, compared with the same two days of 1991, TeleCheck said.

"This increase is indicative of a real gain in retail sales that is consistent with other economic data which have been showing gains, such as Gross National Product, consumer disposable income and consumer confidence," stated William Ford, senior economic adviser for TeleCheck. "This is another sign that the economy is gaining speed."

Nearly every region in the country posted gains for the first weekend of holiday shopping, the company said. …

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