Card spending up 13.7% in February

Consumer card spending increased by 13.7 per cent last month compared to the same period of 2020, according to data from Barclaycard.

This marks the highest level of growth since November 2021.

Barclaycard, which sees almost half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, revealed that spending on essential items was up 12 per cent in February – largely driven by rising fuel prices.

Although supermarket shopping increased by 12.9 per cent – this represents the lowest uplift since February 2020, reflecting UK retail prices reaching the highest in a decade.

Purchases of non-essential items saw strong growth of 14.5 per cent – the sharpest increase since November last year when it grew by 18.3 per cent.

“The strong uplifts across both retail and hospitality show that the nation is keen to make the most of life following the easing of Plan B restrictions, with many Brits still purchasing treats to give themselves a boost, and making social and holiday plans for the year ahead,” said José Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclaycard. “As inflation starts to have an impact on consumer confidence, we’re seeing a shift in spending habits as Brits seek more value from their purchases, particularly on supermarket shopping, which saw its smallest growth since February 2020.

“With energy prices rising at the start of April, we will be watching how these price-conscious behaviours evolve over the coming months.”

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