Christmas cheer kicks off with card spending boost

A SEASONAL boost in consumer spending began last month, with new figures from millions of credit and debit cards showing a three per cent increase from October.

Online sales were particularly popular in November, according to Barclaycard, swelling to just over a fifth of all spending. Black Friday’s frenzied shopping has now arrived from the US, with a 21 per cent boost to expenditure on the Friday after Thanksgiving, despite the fact the holiday is not celebrated in the UK.

Some of the biggest spending increases were recorded for restaurants, family clothing and DIY stores, where sales were up 13.3, 11.3 and 8.7 per cent respectively.

Despite the considerable increase in spending, along with a 6.5 per cent increase in the number of transactions, the average amount spend per sale is down 3.3 per cent.

Spending at electronics stores dropped last month, a fall of 4.3 per cent from October. November 2012 proved to be a better month for electronics, with the release of the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.

Barclaycard’s figures are based on its UK credit and debit card business, which makes up nearly half of card transactions in the country.