Tuesday 6 December 2016 5:00 am

Consumer spending growth was at its second highest since 2011 last month


I report on retail and property for City A.M. I have covered the investigation into BHS and London's housing crisis. You can email me on helen.cahill@cityam.com with tips or commentary.

I report on retail and property for City A.M. I have covered the investigation into BHS and London's housing crisis. You can email me on helen.cahill@cityam.com with tips or commentary.

Follow Helen Cahill

Consumer spending received its second highest boost since 2011 last month, even though consumer confidence was flat.

Spending growth was 5.1 per cent year-on-year, according to data from Barclaycard. The highest consumer spending growth that Barclaycard recorded (5.5 per cent) was in October.

Read more: Black Friday: Customers of this lender are spending £32,000 a minute

The increase was driven by a 4.7 per cent increase in the amount that households spend on essential items such as food an fuel. Supermarket spend increased by 1.6 per cent and spend on petrol was up 11.7 per cent.

But, there was not the same lift in consumer confidence in November, and, with the growth in spending on non-essential items slowing month-on-month, Barclaycard said consumers are looking more carefully at how they spend their money.

However, the data only covers the period between 23 October and 19 November, and therefore leaves out Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), when a lot of people will have been buying those non-essential items.

Read more: Online sales soared by over 20 per cent on Cyber Monday 

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: "Whilst some pockets of discretionary spending, such as that on entertainment, was up again by double-digits, most noticeable was the amount households are spending on day-to-day necessities, with supermarket shopping and petrol hitting an all-time high.

"Though there is little visible evidence of households yet being forced to decide between filling up the car or eating out with friends, the narrowing gap between essential and non-essential spend growth means they may need to look more carefully at how they allocate their cash once Christmas is out of the way."

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