Consumer spend returns to growth in August as bricks-and-mortar outperforms online

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Consumer spending returned to positive growth throughout August marking a stark turnaround from the significant drop seen a month earlier.

According to Visa UK’s Consumer Spending Index, household spending jumped 0.4 per cent last month up from a 0.9 per cent drop a in July, marking the third month of the last four to see growth.

This is understood to have been buoyed by back to school spending and continued good weather, which drove a 0.3 per cent increase in face-to-face spending following a 1.2 per cent drop in July.

Clothing and footwear saw its best run of growth in nearly three years, seeing growth for the fourth successive month, outpaced only by the food and drink sector.

“In a welcome contrast to the prior month, August’s consumer spending was buoyed by face-to-face purchases with back-to-school spending amongst parents likely contributing to a glimmer of hope for our high streets,” Visa’s chief commercial office Mark Antipof said.

“The prolonged good weather has seen sustained performance for hotels, restaurants and bars and food and drink again topping the sector categories.

“Despite the increasing pressure on household budgets, bricks and mortar retailers will take encouragement that face-to-face spending rose at a faster rate than e-commerce.

“Since Visa’s Consumer Spending Index first launched, one of the overarching trends has been the dominance of e-commerce over face-to-face spending. This is certainly an area to watch as we move towards to big shopping events such as Halloween and Christmas.”

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