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Barclaycard data reveals surge in UK consumer spending

Lily Canter
·2-min read
Clothing spend saw a 4.2% rise in September. Credit: Getty.
Clothing spend saw a 4.2% rise in September. Credit: Getty.

Consumer spending continued to rise in September with a spike in back to school shopping and panic buying.

Figures from Barclaycard (BARC.L) reveal 2% growth overall with the biggest increase — some 15.4% — on supermarket spending.

This comes as more than a quarter of Brits admit to stockpiling items such as tinned food and toilet roll in anticipation of further lockdown restrictions.

Clothing spend saw a substantial improvement of 4.2% growth, as shoppers invested in autumn and winter wardrobes and parents prepared their children for a return to school.

This is a significant improvement on last month’s clothing figure of 0.3%, which was the first growth in the industry since March 2019.

Spending on non-essential items grew 0.6%, the first rise since February, with strong increases in DIY (25.7%) and furniture (28%).

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Travel is still facing huge losses with a 63% decline but there has been some recovery in the hospitality sector with bars and pubs seeing a 9% rise, the first increase since February.

Raheel Ahmed, Barclaycard head of consumer products, said: “Consumers clearly made the most of the sunshine by socialising in September, with spending at pubs and bars seeing the first increase since before the national lockdown was introduced in March.”

“However, we also saw households preparing to spend more time inside as winter draws closer, with home improvement increasing as a result. While the nation’s confidence in the UK economy has improved slightly, many are still cautious about the upcoming winter months, and the subsequent uncertainty it may bring has caused some to start stockpiling once more,” he added.

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