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Consumer spending growth slowed in January

Consumer spending growth slowed to a five-month low in January according to new figures from Visa.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Consumer spending growth slowed in January

Consumer spending growth slowed to a five-month low in January according to new figures from Visa.

The firm’s UK Consumer Spending Index has pointed to a marked slowdown in expenditure growth at the start of 2017.

Overall, spending was up 0.4% on the year but down from an increase of 2.5% in December.

Spending split by channel shows that ecommerce outperformed face-to-face categories but increased at the slowest annual rate in five months at 4.1%. Meanwhile, face-to-face spending declined by 3.1%, the quickest pace in four years, after a marginal rise in December of 0.6%.

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa, said: “Following a bumper Christmas season, there were signs that consumers were starting to reign in their spending at the start of the New Year. Annual growth slowed down from 2.5% in December to a five-month low of 0.4% in January, as households monitored rising prices on everyday items and how this would impact disposable incomes.”

Clothing and footwear retailers saw the quickest annual reduction in expenditure since April 2012 with a fall of 3.8%.

Jenkins added: “Clothing and household goods retailers experienced a particularly difficult January. The traditional start of year sales did little to lift clothing spend, which saw the biggest drop in nearly five years. The high street as a whole suffered a disappointing month too, with spend falling at the quickest rate in four years.”

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