Fastest jump in British spending since early 2008

Chris Papadopoullos
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High street sales rose 3.2 per cent year-on-year in May, their fastest growth for over a year
CONSUMER spending accelerated in May as shoppers splashed out on hotels, restaurants and bars.

Spending climbed 2.6 per cent in May compared to the same month last year, according to figures released today by card giant Visa.

The last three months have seen the strongest three-month average increase in expenditure since January 2008.

Spending on hotels, restaurants and bars shot up 10.3 per cent on the year. Consumers also spent 3.9 per cent more on recreation and culture.

High street spending was 3.2 per cent greater than it was in May 2014, the fastest gain for over a year.

“As the costs of essentials fell, UK consumers indulged themselves on things they enjoy. The two May bank holidays combined with the half-term break saw people spend more on going away, dining out and entertainment,” said Visa Europe managing director Kevin Jenkins.

“In contrast, clothing retailers struggled to reverse the downward trend we’ve seen since November 2014, although spending dropped at a much lower rate in May than in April. With more money in their pocket and a spring in their step, consumers look set to continue their spending momentum into the second half of the year.”

Household final consumption grew 0.5 per cent during the first three months of the year, adding 0.3 per cent to the UK’s economic growth over that period, according to the Office for National Statistics.