Feel like this holiday season is a bit cheerier than last year’s? You’re not alone. According to some new data from personal finance site Mint (which was acquired by Intuit for $170 million earlier this year), the holiday season has been accompanied by a major bounce in consumer spending. After a dismal shopping season in 2008, many retailers specializing in everything from electronics to high-end clothing have seen big jumps in the last few months. In a post called ‘The Return of Retail: Holiday Spending 2009′, Mint has illustrated these trends in a number of attractive infographics (we’ve included a few below).
So where does this data come from? To your everyday consumer, Mint is great for a lot of things — it can help you manage your budget, find deals on credit cards, and plenty of other other good stuff. But Mint can also look at aggregate spending trends to see how the economy, and even individual retailers are doing. Mint didn’t do much with this merchant data for a long time, but last August it leveraged it to show how grocery stores were weathering the downturn (unsurprisingly, high end stores like Whole Foods took the biggest hit). They generated a report for Black Friday, and have used similar methods for today’s infographic.
Of course, this data has much more lucrative potential uses, and you can be sure that Mint’s new parent company Intuit is exploring them.