Consumer spending rises thanks to e-commerce
Written by Anthony Strzalek
UK consumer spending in August rose by 0.3 per cent year-on-year, marking the first increase since April, latest Visa figures have shown.
The growth was driven largely by higher e-commerce expenditure, according to the figures, up 6.5 per cent on last year. Meanwhile, face-to-face sales continued to decline, falling by 2.6 per cent in August.
Recreation & culture and hotels, restaurants and bars registered higher spending, while transport and communication remained the weakest performers.
With average growth of 0.2 per cent each month this year, consumer spending is on track for its weakest calendar year of growth since 2013.
Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa, said: “Consumer spending in August has bucked the trend of the previous three months, registering a marginal increase against the same period last year. Nevertheless we are wary about taking this as a sign that the household squeeze is easing given the clear slowdown in spending during the preceding three months.
“Worth noting though is that the story is very different when you look at e-commerce in isolation, which registered a 6.5 per cent increase in August against a 2.6 per cent drop for face-to-face expenditure. This continues the trend of e-commerce spending growing at a much faster rate than face-to-face spending which has been evident in virtually every month since the beginning of 2013.”