Consumer spending growth slowed to 2.4 per cent year-on-year in October which, with inflation at 3 per cent, equated to a contraction in real terms. Brits cut back across the board to cope with their diminished spending power, and in anticipation of a potential interest rate hike.
Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, reveals that spending on essentials (2.9 per cent) outstripped discretionary spend growth (2.2 per cent) for the second month running.
This slowdown in expenditure on ‘nice-to-haves’ was driven by a significant contraction in clothing spend (-4.1 per cent) – the lowest figure recorded since March 2013. Shoppers may have delayed updating their wardrobe due to the unseasonably warm weather, with many possibly choosing to wait until Black Friday to pick up bargains.
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