Consumer spending increased momentum in February

Following a slowdown in January, consumer spending picked up again in February

 
Concerns were raised about the January dip as consumer spending, often on credit cards, was said to be propping up the UK economy after the shock of Brexit.  
In January inflation may have seen consumers tighten their purse strings, with over a third of people who have more debt now than they did last year blaming the rising cost of living according to MoneySupermarket. However this does not seem to be the case in February, with both Valentine’s Day and the February half term seeming to have provided a boost.
 
A report by VISA puts overall spend growth at an annual rate of 1.5% from a low point of 0.4% in the previous month. Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Visa said that Valentine’s Day and the half-term break gave consumers “more reasons to dine out and treat their loved ones to short getaways around the UK.”
 
Whilst experience-based spending appears on the up, that can’t be said for all sectors. For clothing retailers, February was challenging, recording the biggest drop across all the sectors that VISA track, with high street shops trailing behind online businesses.
 
The Money Charity statistics show that consumer debt continues to be an economic worry, with net lending to individuals in the UK increasing by £154 million a day, with £42m plastic card purchase transactions made every day in December 2016.