Consumer spending rose 13% in September despite ongoing supply chain issues

Consumer spending rose 13.3 per cent in September compared to the same period in 2019, however the ongoing supply chain crisis is hampering confidence.

Research from Barclaycard revealed that spending on essential goods increased 14.4 per cent, the highest margin for over two years.

This was mainly driven by supermarket shopping and the surge in demand at the petrol pumps which saw the sharpest growth in fuel spend in over 24 months by 11.1 per cent.

The ongoing heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver shortage is also making it more difficult for Brits to source some essentials in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Almost half (46 per cent) of consumers surveyed reported seeing empty shelving and 18 per cent have found it more difficult to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables recently.

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A further 13 per cent have also found it difficult to purchase soft drinks, frozen goods and fresh fish and meat.

Consumer confidence in purchasing non-essential items dropped four per cent in September (59 per cent compared to 63 per cent in August).

This is the lowest this figure has been since February 2021, during the third national lockdown.

Rising inflation of the cost of every day items is also causing 90 per cent of customers to be concerned about the impact on their personal finances.

Those who felt optimistic about the economy’s recovery have become less so, with the number dropped 31 per cent in comparison to 37 per cent in August.

“The return of pupils and workers to schools and offices helped many sectors to see strong uplifts in September. Pubs, bars & clubs and the entertainment industry benefitted from post-work socialising, while international travel was given a boost as holidaymakers jetted off to warmer climes to squeeze in their last trips of summer,” Barclaycard head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed said.

“Consumers are, however, starting to feel the impact of rising prices on their personal finances, which is also hampering confidence levels.

“While this is causing some Brits to seek out value in their purchases, as the festive season approaches, we expect spending to gradually gather pace as shoppers start buying gifts and preparing for gatherings with loved ones.”

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