Spending spike as UK economy bounces back

AS SURVEYS indicate a bumper month for business this September, new figures suggest that the increased activity is driven mainly by consumer spending, with credit and debit card use on the up.

Barclaycard said yesterday there had been a strong upswing in spending through August, backing up figures from Visa Europe, which recorded its strongest month in nearly a year.

Barclaycard revealed that spending was up 4.4 per cent in comparison to the same month last year, well above inflation. The arm of Barclays handles nearly half of the UK’s card transactions, with over 30m customers as of June this year.

London still leads the pack, with households in the capital shelling out six per cent more than a year ago.

However, even Scotland, which saw only a 3.4 per cent increase, managed to outstrip rising prices. Typical summer spending drove the increase, as households shelled out more on restaurants, hotels and leisure activities.

August is now the fourth month in a row in which spending rose by more than four per cent. Val Sorrano Keating, Barclaycard chief executive said: “It’s a trend we’ve seen for most of this year and has helped establish 2013 as the year of recovery.”