Latest data from Barclaycard reveals that consumer spending was up for the third month in a row in February (+3.8% like-for-like) despite “remaining downbeat about their current spending power.”
Claiming to have made “small adjustments” to budgets so consumers can continue to afford “nice-to-haves,” restaurant and pub spending “remained healthy” last month at +9.7% and +10% growth respectively. Barclaycard did warn that this didn’t “quite match the strong spells of double-digit rises seen in 2017.”
Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “This is the third consecutive month that we’ve seen household spending growth above the prevailing rate of inflation suggesting that, while consumers remain cautious about their household finances, they continue to strike a balance between spending on essentials and on luxuries.
“With a year to go before Brexit, consumers are cautious about the potential ramifications of whatever settlement the UK achieves, and half of us fear that the outcome will leave us worse off than we are now. As negotiations continue it’s likely that this will continue to weigh on sentiment.”