Consumer spending sees biggest increase since before lockdown

Industry

Consumer spending saw its biggest increase since before the UK went into lockdown throughout September.

According to the latest data from Barclaycard, consumer spending increased by two per cent year-on-year last month, marking the largest uplift since February.

Supermarket spending jumped 15.4 per cent as fears of a second lockdown and the looming winter months caused 27 per cent of Brits to stockpile items like tinned food and toilet rolls.

Meanwhile fashion experienced a much-needed uplift of 4.2 per cent, following the first growth in the industry since March 2019 a month earlier.

It is understood that the changing of the seasons and the nation’s return to school was a major factor in clothing’s return to growth.

READ MORE: Surge in online shopping over lockdown thanks to 102% rise in online supermarket shops

DIY and furniture sales also saw strong increases during September as customers prepare to spend more time in doors throughout the winter months, rising 25.7 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Promisingly for the high street, face-to-face spending was also down just 1.9 per cent, marking a significant improvement on August’s -6.7 per cent.

“Consumers clearly made the most of the sunshine by socialising in September, with spending at pubs and bars seeing the first increase since before the national lockdown was introduced in March,” Barclaycard’s head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed said.

“There were also signs that many Brits squeezed in a last-minute summer holiday in the UK, as spending on accommodation stayed at similar levels seen in August.

“However, we also saw households preparing to spend more time inside as winter draws closer, with home improvement increasing as a result. While the nation’s confidence in the UK economy has improved slightly, many are still cautious about the upcoming winter months, and the subsequent uncertainty it may bring has caused some to start stockpiling once more.”

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