Mastercard Economics Institute: Understand the US Economy’s Path Through the Consumer Lens

Produced by Mastercard

Daren Hull, President of Vera Bradley, discussed his company's partnership with Mastercard to make better decisions based on credit card data in real time. The data helps Vera Bradley to understand how their sales are sitting in relation to other companies and their categories. Daren explained that they are looking at macro data and macro trends to help them make better decisions. Additionally, they are looking at regional information to help them understand how to allocate products, how to look at pricing decisions, and how to expand and renovate their stores. Finally, he talks about the challenges of managing a business in a constantly changing environment and the need for adaptive strategies. He emphasizes the need for companies to be agile and test and learn in order to keep up with the changing landscape of retail.

Michelle Meyer, Chief Economist for the U.S. at the MasterCard Economics Institute shared insights on the economic outlook and discussed the unusual economic environment of 2022, which had the fastest inflation in over four decades and the fastest hiking cycle by the Federal Reserve on record, causing instability and uncertainty. Meyer said that inflation measured in total from the Consumer Price Index peaked at 9.1% in summer 2022, with the good news that the data suggests peak inflation has passed, and the inflation rate has dropped to 6.5%. Meyer also explained how the MasterCard Economics Institute uses public data and its own data to understand the economy's real-time movements. Meyer then showcases MasterCard's spending pulse data that measures consumer spend and notes that consumers spent the holiday season in fits and starts, with apparel spending experiencing swings in consumer behavior. She concludes by emphasizing MasterCard's use of their own data to understand the economy on a hyperlocal and hyper-timely basis.

FEB 2023