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Consumer spending up 3.9 per cent as shoppers rebalance budgets after bumper summer

08 Oct 2018 19:01

·         Consumer spending grew 3.9 per cent year-on-year in September, returning to a more modest level after an unusually strong summer

·         High prices at the petrol pump meant essential spending remained robust at 4.6 per cent growth

·         Entertainment recorded its strongest rise since June 2017 – powered by increases in ticket sales, pubs and restaurants

·         Looking ahead, nearly half of consumers say they are planning to spend less on Christmas than they did last year

Consumer spending rose 3.9 per cent year-on-year in September, returning to a more modest level after an unusually strong summer.

Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, shows that essential spending remained relatively robust at 4.6 per cent growth, albeit at a more subdued rate than the high levels seen in July (8.7 per cent) and August (6.9 per cent).

Petrol expenditure was a driving force of September’s essential spending, rising 8.9 per cent as fuel prices remained high. Supermarkets increased 2.7 per cent, a fairly shy figure compared to July (6.7 per cent) and August (5.0 per cent). Non-essential expenditure meanwhile stayed steady at 3.4 per cent growth.

At 11.6 per cent, entertainment recorded its strongest growth since June 2017 with many making the most of the final days of summer, powered by increases in ticket sales (7.1 per cent), pubs (11.5 per cent) and restaurants (9.5 per cent).

Furniture stores performed particularly well at 6.2 per cent, their best showing this year. Clothing, on the other hand, just reached positive figures at 0.7 per cent growth, with women’s clothing seeing a decline of 3.5 per cent – suggesting the last of the warm summer weather meant consumers held off purchasing their winter staples.

After an expensive summer, many shoppers are looking to rebalance their budgets and cut back as the final stretch of the year is at the forefront of their minds. In fact, nearly half of consumers (46 per cent) say they are planning to spend less on Christmas this year than they did in 2017.

More broadly, wider concerns about the country’s economic landscape are weighing on the minds of many, with 62 per cent of UK adults lacking confidence in the UK economy. Rising fuel prices alongside the affordability of non-essential items are contributing factors, with 61 per cent worried about a potential rise in petrol prices and nearly one in two (45 per cent) not confident in their ability to spend on discretionary or ‘nice to have’ items in the run up to the festive period.

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, said:

“We’ve seen spending return to a more modest level as consumers balance their budgets after a longer than usual summer of spend. Rising prices are having an impact on shoppers’ spending priorities, with more of their household budget devoted to everyday essentials such as petrol.

“Looking ahead, a more cautious approach looks set to continue into the Christmas period as consumers remain conscious of the wider economic trends. With this in mind, it’s clear that shoppers will seek out value for money purchases – whether that’s everyday essentials or those discretionary or ‘nice to have’ items.”

 

 

Y/Y Spend growth by category

Overall

Clothing

0.7%

Family Clothing

1.9%

Shoe Shops

-3.1%

Women’s Clothing

-3.5%

Men’s Clothing

2.8%

Restaurants

9.5%

Auto Parts & Accessories

1.7%

Cinema, Theatre & Dance

7.1%

Public Houses

11.5%

Department Stores

-7.8%

DIY Stores

2.5%

Travel Agents

13.1%

Airlines

6.6%

Supermarkets

2.7%

Petrol

8.9%

Gambling

24.1%

Vehicle Sales

-3.0%

Hotels

1.1%

Auto Repair Shops

0.3%

Sports Shops

-0.2%

Furniture Stores

6.2%

Telecoms

3.6%

Household Appliances

-12.8%

Jewellers

-1.6%

Sports and Games Establishment

6.0%

Garden Centres

4.0%

Discount Stores

-13.2%

Gift Shops

-2.5%

Floor Covering Stores

0.3%

Tourist Attractions

3.2%

Amusment Parks

11.0%

Aquariums

31.3%

Electronic Stores

-2.0%

Cosmetic Stores

5.2%

Optical Goods

5.9%

Overall

3.9%

 

 

Average Transaction Value

Overall

-5.4%

Clothing

-3.0%

Airlines

-0.2%

Restaurants

-7.5%

Supermarkets

-4.4%

Petrol

2.6%

 

 

Number of Transactions

Overall

9.9%

 

Clothing

-0.5%

Airlines

11.0%

Restaurants

14.9%

Supermarkets

7.0%

Petrol

5.8%




Notes to editors


– Ends –

For more information please contact Rebecca Butler on +44 (0) 207 116 1993 or Rebecca.Butler@barclaycard.co.uk, or Phillipa Russell on +44 (0) 207 116 5473 or Phillipa.Russell@barclaycard.co.uk.

The monthly spend data in this release relates to the period 19th Aug to 22nd Sept 2018. It is compared with 19th Aug to 22nd Sept 2017.

The consumer confidence survey was carried out between 20 and 24 September 2018 by Longitude Research on behalf of Barclaycard. There were 2,000 respondents, providing a representative sample of UK consumers by age, gender, region, income group, professional status and family situation.

*Online and In-store splits of Spend insights data are not available at the time of publishing, data will be updated once available.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point-of-sale finance. In 2017 we processed over £250bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.

 

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