Sales volume on MasterCard-branded credit and charge cards issued in the United States dipped 15.5% during the second quarter ended June 30, to $120 billion from $142 billion during the same period last year, MasterCard Inc. reported today. U.S. cardholders initiated 1.5 million credit and charge card purchases, down 5.7% from 1.59 billion. On MasterCard-branded debit cards, U.S. consumers spent $82 billion on purchases, down 3.8% from $79 billion. U.S. debit transactions, including PIN-debit purchases switched by competing brands appearing on the same cards, reached 2.1 billion during the quarter, up 10.5% from 1.9 billion. Issuers in the U.S. managed 184 million MasterCard-branded credit and charge card accounts at the end of June, down 17.9% from 224 million a year earlier. Issuers in the U.S. managed 116 million accounts tied to debit cards, up 5.5% from 110 million. Outside the U.S., sales volume on MasterCard credit and charge cards during the quarter totaled $218 billion, down 9.9% from $242 billion. Cardholders outside the U.S. generated 2.9 billion credit and charge card transactions, up 11.5% from 2.6 billion. Debit card sales volume outside the U.S. totaled $31 billion, up 3.3% from $30 billion. The number of debit card purchases outside the U.S. totaled 553 million, up 24% from 446 million. Issuers outside the U.S. managed 438 million credit and charge accounts at the end of June, down 4% from 421 million a year earlier. Non-U.S. issuers managed 108 million debit-related accounts, up 44% from 75 million. Economists expect unemployment in the U.S. and Europe to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, MasterCard CEO Robert Selander noted during an investor conference call this morning. That means consumers are keeping a tighter rein on card and non-card-based spending. "Consumer confidence remains at a low level, probably held down from concerns around unemployment," Selander added. However, reports of better-than-expected home sales in June are "one leading indicator that helps consumers feel comfortable about increasing their spending," he said.

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