Consumer spending grew 0.2 per cent year-on-year in the month of August, thanks to a 102.7 per cent year-on-year rise in online supermarket shops.
New data from Barclaycard found consumer spending in Britain enjoyed its first uplift since February 2020.
Year-on-year, the nation spent 5.1 per cent more on essential items, largely driven by supermarket shopping which was up 14.9 per cent.
Spending on non-essential items contracted 1.6 per cent – the smallest fall since the onset of lockdown – as the nation became more comfortable visiting stores.
Despite a steady return to the high street, Barclaycard’s data suggested the months of lockdown have accelerated a sustained shift towards online shopping.
The highest category increases were seen across supermarkets, which reported a 102.7 per cent year-on-year rise as the popularity of online food orders prevailed, and online clothing, which grew 24.3 per cent.
While the nation’s confidence in the UK economy has fallen to its lowest (19 per cent) since Barclaycard started the Index six years ago (compared to 42 per cent in January and February 2020), confidence in household finances remains steady at 68 per cent, attributed to many households putting off holidays and trips abroad.
“It’s encouraging to see the first uplift in spending after such a turbulent time for retailers. It seems the final throws of summer have spurred households to get out and about with clothing stores, pubs and bars welcoming growth for the first time since lockdown began,” said Barclaycard head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed.
Last month Nielsen revealed UK shoppers spent £678 million more on FMCG products during July, but online sales accounted for a whopping 97 per cent of this growth, equating to £658 million.
This led to a rise of 117 per cent in July, with online grocery sales achieving a record 14 per cent of the market share.