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November saw rise in UK consumer spending for third time in the past four months although marginal

This is according to Visa Europe’s UK Expenditure Index, which takes card spending data and adjusts it for a variety of factors to create a like-for-like comparison of consumer spending.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

November saw rise in UK consumer spending for third time in the past four months although marginal

This is according to Visa Europe’s UK Expenditure Index, which takes card spending data and adjusts it for a variety of factors to create a like-for-like comparison of consumer spending.

This distinguishes the Index from Visa’s corporate performance, and thereby provides a robust indicator of consumer spending habits. On a monthly basis, UK consumer spending rose 0.3% in November, following a decline of -3.1% in October.

Growth on a 3m/3m basis was maintained at a healthy rate of 1.8% but, compared to a year earlier, spending fell by -1.1%. Although slower than the -2.0% reduction seen in October, it was the second successive month that a fall in spending on this measure has been registered.

All three spending channels recorded adjusted falls in household spending during November.

Online expenditure was down -1.8% on a year-on-year basis following solid growth of 2.2% in the previous month.

Mail Order/Telephone Order also saw a return to contraction following growth in the previous period, with spending down -2.2% (October: +1.2%).

Face-to-face, or high street spending, was down for a second successive month on an annual basis, albeit at a much slower rate. According to the latest adjusted data, spending fell by -0.7% compared to levels seen one year ago. That followed a -3.8% reduction seen during October.

Dr Steve Perry, Commercial Director at Visa Europe said, “Consumer spending was up 0.3% in November compared to October. Spending data in the last three months shows minor, if not spectacular improvements, with spending 1.8% higher than the summer months. However, retailers will have a task on their hands to part shoppers from their money this Christmas. While spending levels improved in November, they were still -1.1% lower than a year ago.

“The final quarter of this year is the first since Q1 to be unaffected by temporary factors such as the Queen’s Jubilee or the Olympics. The November figures therefore indicate a picture of weak growth.”

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