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Mon 14th Nov 2016 - Restaurants, bars and hotels spearhead strongest consumer spending growth in six months
Restaurants, bars and hotels spearhead strongest consumer spending growth in six months: Consumer spending increased 2.5% year-on-year in October, spearheaded by a 9% rise in spending in restaurants, bars and hotels, according to the latest data from Visa. The rise, which was up from 2.3% in September, was the strongest rate of increase in six months, Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index has revealed. Broad spending category data indicated growth was led by strong increases in hotels, restaurants and bars (+9.0%) – its strongest annual rate of expansion since February – and recreation and culture (+7.4%). Food and drink saw a 4.7% increase in expenditure, while clothing and footwear retailers saw the first year-on-year increase in expenditure since July, with the rate of expansion of 4.7% the steepest since September 2015. Higher spending of 1.0% was also recorded in household goods. The sectors that saw a decline were transport and communication (1.4%), health and education (3.2%) and miscellaneous goods and services (2.0%). E-commerce spending was up 4.3%, while face-to-face expenditure increased 1.8%. Visa UK and Ireland managing director Kevin Jenkins said: “Consumer spending growth rose to a six-month high in October. Talk of potential price rises does not appear to have dented consumers’ confidence, with spending up 2.5% on the year, on a par with pre-referendum levels. The experience economy continued to fuel this growth. Hospitality and leisure were the best-performing sectors once again, boosted perhaps by the half-term break and Halloween, with a noticeable increase in spend on food and drink. We’ve also seen two strong comebacks this month. Clothing and footwear bounced back strongly from a disappointing dip in the previous month, up 4.7% in October, and the highest level of growth since September 2015. New season stock, combined with a chilly start to winter created the perfect conditions for the high street to rebound from last month’s flat line. As we get closer to the all-important Christmas trading season, it will be interesting to see whether the strong momentum in October continues into Black Friday and beyond.”

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