You are here: Home - Credit Cards & Loans - News -

Consumer spending has weakest start to the year since 2012

Written by:
The latest figures from Visa show consumer spending making its weakest start to the year since 2012.  

Visa showed inflation-adjusted consumer spending in February was down 1.1% year-on-year, with particular weakness in the ‘recreation and culture’ sector. Down 6.1%, this saw its greatest decline since April 2010.

Face-to-face spending dropped 2.5% on the year, while eCommerce rose only slightly, up 0.2%. This was the 10th consecutive month of declining spending, although the pace of reduction was the softest since June 2017.

Nevertheless, there were areas of strength – the strongest rise was seen across Hotels, Restaurants & Bars (4.4%), followed by Misc. Goods & Services (which includes health, beauty and jewellery), which rose 4.0%.

Expenditure also fell across the Transport & Communication sector, with modest declines also seen across the Clothing & Footwear and Household Goods categories. In contrast, expenditure was broadly stable at Food & Drink retailers, after a modest fall in January.

Mark Antipof, chief commercial officer at Visa, said Britons have been in belt-tightening mode since last summer: “February’s cold snap certainly didn’t alleviate this situation, particularly when we shine a spotlight on high street spending, and recreation and culture in particular, which saw its biggest decline since April 2010.

“As we look ahead into March, consumer spending is at risk of posting one of the worst Q1 results on record. Retailers will no doubt be hoping that the milder weather will put a spring in shoppers’ steps.”

Samantha Seaton, CEO of Moneyhub, said the figures show the current economic climate is taking its toll, and consumers are feeling less confident with their money: “Household finances are still being squeezed from every direction and there appears to be no immediate end in sight. Wages aren’t rising fast enough to keep up with prices, borrowing looks likely to increase with another interest rate rise, and there remains a lot of uncertainty around what the reality of Brexit is going to be.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week