Consumer spending rises as Shoppers shrug off Brexit vote but uncertainty lingers

Jessica Morris
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Historic England Celebrates The English Pubs With New Listed Status
Pub spending took a hit immediately after the referendum (Source: Getty)

Shoppers have so far shrugged off Britain's vote to leave the European Union, but its future impact remains mired in uncertainty.

Consumer spending swelled 3.1 per cent on an annual basis in the second quarter, according to data from Barclaycard, as the last two months helped offset a less impressive performance in April.

Read more: Investor confidence index drops to four-year low after Brexit vote

Spending continued to grow in the week following Britain's referendum, despite the economic uncertainty. But two key growth sectors, pubs and restaurants, fell into negative territory during this period.

They dropped 0.44 per cent and 0.46 per cent respectively, compared to growth of 20.5 per cent and 20.1 per cent a month earlier, suggesting consumers felt cautious.

"While it’s too soon to draw long-term conclusions on how spending and sentiment have been affected by the outcome of the referendum, the early indication is that the majority of consumers avoided a knee-jerk reaction," Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said.

Read more: Referendum uncertainty "significantly weakened" UK's European M&A dominance

“With some sectors experiencing surprising fluctuations across the weekly and monthly analyses – notably entertainment and leisure – it’s difficult to predict how and where shoppers will continue to spend their money."

Entertainment spend rose 10 per cent between April to June, helped by the Euros and Father's day. Clothing was among the worst performers, adding just 1.3 per cent during this period.

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