The Moneris Spending Report shows a 3.45 per cent increase in spending in the last three months of 2012TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest debit and credit card processor, announced today that Canadian spending rose by 3.45 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. However, compared to previous quarters in 2012, Q4 showed the smallest increase in dollars spent (Q1 at 5.34 per cent, Q2 at 4.67 per cent and Q3 at 4.77 per cent). October 2012 experienced the strongest growth, with a 4.93 per cent increase in spending, followed by November, with a 3.58 per cent increase in dollars spent. While the slowest growth in Q4 was reported in December, at 2.16 per cent, Boxing Week spending was up 5.35 per cent, compared to 2011. The restaurant category led the growth in spending during the fourth quarter, at 5.88 per cent, followed closely by grocery stores at 5.70 per cent and entertainment at 5.25 per cent. Similar to the same period last year, fast food outlets and pet shops continued to experience the highest growth, with increases of 9.53 per cent and 7.11 per cent, respectively. Categories that experienced a decline in spending included camera stores, at -9.03 per cent, cosmetic stores, at -3.64 per cent, and book stores, at -3.24 per cent. The average price of credit card purchases also declined by -2.13 per cent, compared to the same period in 2011, while debit purchases experienced a modest increase of 0.19 per cent. Overall in Q4 2012, credit card spending slightly outpaced debit card spending, with an increase of 3.55 per cent and 3.29 per cent, respectively. However, this quarter also experienced the lowest increases in credit card spending, compared to the three previous quarters (5.26 per cent in Q1, 5.62 per cent in Q2 and 5.19 per cent in Q3). The same was true of debit card spending in Q4, compared to the three previous quarters (3.47 per cent in Q1, 3.31 per cent in Q2 and 4.15 per cent in Q3), which may be the result of increased awareness around climbing household debt among Canadian consumers.