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Mon 11th Dec 2017 - Hospitality spend in November bucks trend with 4.2% rise
November spend in hotels, restaurants and bars bucks the trend with 4.2% rise as 2017 heads for five-year consumer expenditure low: Consumer spending in November at hotels, restaurants and bars bucked the trend with a 4.2% rise, according to the latest data from Visa. The company’s Consumer Spending Index compiled by Markit indicated consumer spending declined for the third month running in November. On an annual basis, total expenditure fell by 0.9%, which was less severe than the 2.1% reduction seen in October but nonetheless kept spending on track for its weakest calendar performance for five years. However, the hospitality sector showed more solid signs following a 3.3% rise in October and was the only sector to show growth alongside miscellaneous goods and services, which includes jewellery, hair and beauty, which rose 4.9% year-on-year. Expenditure on the high street declined for the seventh month in a row on an annual basis in November, by 3.5% overall. Although a marked improvement from the 5.1% decline in October, it was still one of the biggest falls recorded since 2012. Meanwhile, e-commerce spending continued on an upward trend, although the growth rate of 2.4% remained modest in the context of the survey’s history. The other six of the eight broad spending categories registered lower figures in November, with the steepest fall in transport and communication (6.0% year-on-year), followed by clothing and footwear (2.1%), household goods (2.0%), and food, beverages and tobacco (1.8%). Marginal reductions in spend were noted in recreation and culture, and health and education. Mark Antipof, chief officer – commercial at Visa, said: “November’s poor performance means we stand by our earlier prediction that the UK will see its worst fall in overall Christmas spending by consumers since 2012. The gap between the performance of e-commerce and the high street widened again last month. Bricks-and-mortar retailers saw sales down for the seventh consecutive month, while e-commerce continued its upward growth trend, boosted in particular by consumers taking advantage of online promotions around Black Friday. It would appear consumers are making further changes to their shopping priorities as a result of the increasing strain on household budgets. Cutbacks on big-ticket items such as car purchases and Christmas trips abroad led to the largest drop in spending on transport and communications in November. In contrast, spending on miscellaneous goods saw the largest increase, offering further evidence of the ‘lipstick effect’, whereby people opt for smaller treats while tightening their belts when it comes to larger purchases.”

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