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Consumer spend up 3.6% in April

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Consumer spending rose 3.6 per cent last month as warmer weather drove footfall and boosted spend, new figures released today reveal.

Improved weather boosted spend above the current inflation rate, recording growth above two per cent for the third consecutive month, growth last seen in 2011 despite a slow start to April.

According to figures from Barclaycard, garden centres benefitted most from the change in temperature as sales climbed 8.5 per cent on last year, while DIY stores experienced a 3.7 per cent lift, and both saw “substantial growth” in the last half of the month after reporting difficulties earlier in the year.

However, average transaction value dipped 1.4 per cent as cash-conscious shoppers continued to seek value for money, signalling a significant change in spending habits.

Bricks & mortar store spend saw an improvement after flat growth in March, up 1.7 per cent as high street footfall strengthened amid more seasonal weather, while online spend also increased over the period.

Multichannel sales surged 11.7 per cent on the same period in 2012 while online spend share stood at 20 per cent, a 1.5 per cent increase and Valerie Soranno Keating, CEO of Barclaycard, said that April had been a “more positive month for retailers.”

She added: “Although economic data is generally mixed, this is the first time since 2011 that we’ve seen growth above two per cent for three consecutive months, which may suggest a more sustained improvement in sentiment.”

Published on Monday 13 May by Editorial Assistant

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