Poor weather in February dampened a spending rise to just +0.3 per cent year-on-year as consumers continued to stay away from the high-street.
High-street spending fell 0.9 per cent year-on-year following a 1.5 per cent rise in January, according to the Visa UK Expenditure Index which measures spending on all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards.
The property market drove growth in the household goods sector which rose 4.3 per cent year-on-year while overall internet spending surged 4.3 per cent, a slow down from its December peak of +6.8 per cent. The online retail market grew 18 per cent year-on-year in December as smartphones and tablets grew in popularity, according to IMRG.
“Consumers’ increasing preference to shop online also made itself clear, encouraged in part no doubt by the month long downpours,” said Jeremy Nicholds, Director of Commercial Development at Visa Europe. He said household goods retailers (+4.3% y-o-y) and hotels and restaurants (+7.1% y-o-y) were “undoubted winners” in February.
Spending through online channels offset mail and telephone orders which declined by 0.8 per cent.