Barclaycard Spending Index up 9.2% year-on-year in July shows talk of Government austerity drive having little impact on consumer spending.
Consumer spending on cards saw a near double digit increase in August compared to the same month last year, challenging concerns that talk of reduced public spending is already forcing consumers to be more cautious.
According to the new figures released by Barclaycard, the amount spent on debit and credit cards, in-store and online, increased by 9.2% in August compared to the same month last year, with new autumn sales, discounts and back-to-school spending helping to keep the retail sector buoyant. The rising cost of both food and cotton may also be starting to filter through to retail prices, meaning higher spending.
This month’s increase represents the fourth month in a row that the annual growth rate has increased by more than 9%, indicating anything but a dip in confidence.
The figures challenge recent reports of a consumer spending slowdown and reduced consumer confidence, suggesting that a gap exists between what consumers say about their financial prospects and how they behave, with spending on the high street remaining strong.
Stuart Neal, head of Barclaycard UK Payment Acceptance said: “With leading retailers warning that the Government austerity drive will keep the economy in the doldrums and hit consumer confidence hard, it is good to see a fourth month of increased spending.”
“While there is some cause for viewing the near future with a certain amount of trepidation, recent indicators are good. Confidence remains relatively high, but it will be important to see how spending fares when public spending cutbacks begin to hit people’s pockets, and not just the headlines.”