Shoppers delayed big ticket purchases in June, while consumer spending hit a two-year quarterly low

Francesca Washtell
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Transport purchases, including those of cars, fell by more than four per cent in June (Source: Getty)

Britons put big ticket purchases on hold last month as consumer spending fell to its lowest quarterly level in two years.

Spending across all categories grew by 0.9 per cent in June, up from a 27-month low of 0.8 per cent in May, contributing to a sluggish rise in consumer spending of 1.4 per cent in the second quarter as a whole.

However, spending on several key sectors dipped significantly, according to Visa Consumer Index figures released today.

"All eyes will be on consumer spending data as we assess the outcome of the referendum," Kevin Jenkins, UK and Ireland managing director said.

Read more: Economic growth pinned on consumer spending

"With the result coming late in the month, this report doesn’t give the full picture but there’s a clear trend over recent months showing a slowdown in overall growth. The Index shows that discretionary spending has been the worst affected area."

Transport and communication spending, which includes cars and flight bookings, fell 4.2 per cent year-on-year after dropping 5.5 per cent in May.

Read more: Dip in car sales provides few clues about Brexit fallout

Although there was strong year-on-year growth in the household goods sector at 3.2 per cent, shoppers weren't enticed to buy clothing and footwear, which was almost completely flat at 0.1 per cent.

Despite hotel, restaurant and bar spending bring the best performing sector in the past year, in June it slid to the slowest growth rate (3.3 per cent) since January 2013, with "little evidence of the summer’s sporting events providing any significant boost".

Consumers have previously said they'll be saving in the coming months, while analysts have predicted a spending freeze after the surprise pro-Brexit referendum result last month.

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