Consumer spending expands at the fastest rate since 2009

Ben Southwood
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YEARLY consumer spending growth returned in September, according to data that Visa collects from use of its cards.

Spending jumped at its fastest rate since May 2009, growing three per cent between August and September.

And this upturn, after August’s 1.2 per cent monthly growth, pushed consumption into positive territory for the year as a whole – edging up 0.2 per cent between September 2011 and last month. Spending in all of the previous 11 months was lower than a year earlier.

“Face-to-face” sales at high street shops were behind much of this increase, Visa says, as consumers splashed out on clothes and shoes.

The data is unaffected by the prohibition on non-Visa card use within the Olympic park, a spokesperson said, as those transactions were such a tiny proportion of the sample size.

Chris Williamson at Markit said that the data should support hopes for a third quarter recovery in output.

“The data adds to evidence that the economy pulled out of recession in the third quarter, but still leaves the question of whether this is merely a temporary rebound or the start of a sustained upturn,” Williamson commented.