Enthusiastic UK shoppers boost growth hopes as spending on cards increases

Tim Wallace
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Spending on cards last months was up almost 5pc from September last year (Source: Getty)
Shoppers are splashing out more in almost every area of spending, Barclay­card numbers showed yesterday, indicating there is more life yet in the economic recovery.

Overall, spending on cards last month was 4.8 per cent higher than it was in September last year – the fastest annual increase since May 2013.

Spending in restaurants jumped 16.5 per cent, and pubs took 10.6 per cent more on the year.

Holiday spending at travel agents rose by eight per cent, and spending on DIY home improvements increased by 8.2 per cent.

“With consumer confidence indicators near nine-year highs, there is little to suggest UK consumers have lost their appetite for spending,” said Barclays analyst Alex Stewart.

“Importantly, inflation has fallen since then, which implies volume growth is picking up.”

Meanwhile, spending on petrol fell 6.6 per cent as prices continued to fall.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said food spending was down, in part because of the price cuts introduced by increasingly competitive supermarkets.

The 3.6 per cent fall in spending on food “points towards continuing low food price inflation which would meet people’s expectations,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief of consumer goods industry group IGD.

“Only eight per cent of shoppers predict food prices to become much more expensive over the next year, the lowest level since 2010.”

There was a slowdown in spending growth online, the BRC and KPMG said. After years of growth at above 10 per cent, the boom in online spending is slowing down. Spending on non-food products online rose by 8.2 per cent on the year, the slowest growth since July 2013. “Online sales continued to represent an increased proportion of UK non-food sales, at 17.5 per cent, up 1.3 percentage points from last year,” said Helen Dickinson from the BRC.

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