LONDON (Reuters) – British customers spent much less final month than the yr earlier than, inflicting spending in January to fall for the primary time since 2013, in accordance with a survey which underscored many households’ warning about their funds and the method of Brexit.
Visa, whose debit and bank cards are used for a 3rd of funds in Britain, stated on Monday that buyers stayed away from the normal post-Christmas gross sales final month.
Household spending fell by 1.2 p.c in January in contrast with the identical month in 2017, with spending in retailers down by four p.c, it stated.
“Consumer spending entered the new year on a downbeat note, falling for the eighth time in the past nine months, as Britons continued to cut back on spending,” Visa’s chief industrial officer, Mark Antipof, stated.
A fall in automotive gross sales weighed on the general gross sales figures too. But there was higher news for resorts and eating places – in addition to for hair salons and sellers of magnificence merchandise, as shoppers appeared for small treats for themselves.
Britain’s financial system lagged behind stronger progress in different wealthy nations in 2017 as larger inflation for the reason that Brexit vote and sluggish wage progress pinched shoppers’ spending energy.
Annabel Fiddes, an economist at monetary information agency IHS Markit which produces the survey for Visa, stated considerations about Brexit had been weighing on shopper confidence. But spending may decide up later this yr as inflation is predicted to fall again whereas wages rise extra shortly, she added.
Visa’s information is predicated on card spending, adjusted for inflation, the variety of playing cards in circulation and a long-term fall in using money.
Reporting by William Schomberg, modifying by David Milliken