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High Street

October consumer spending up 14.2%, Barclaycard reveals

The growth was boosted by spending on non-essential items which rose 14.6%, including a 127.1% jump in online takeaway spend, as the colder weather led more Brits to order fast food via delivery apps

Consumer card spending grew by 14.2% in October, compared with the same period in 2019, according to the latest data by Barclaycard.

The growth was boosted by spending on non-essential items which rose by 14.6%, including a 127.1% jump in online takeaway spend, as the colder weather led more Brits to order fast food via delivery apps.

The data also revealed that spending on essential items increased by 13.2%, although slightly less than September’s uplift of 14.4%, as fuel spend returned to modest growth.

While shopping at supermarkets and food and drink specialist stores grew 14.2% and 69.2% respectively, almost four in 10 (38%) consumers report finding it harder than normal to buy essential items due to shortages on the shelves.

In entertainment, spending on cinema bookings showed the highest level of growth (17.3%) since October 2019 and was largely due to the launch of the new James Bond film.

However, in signs that shoppers may be cutting back on retail spending, some categories recorded smaller growth than last month, including clothing which saw an 8.9% increase compared with its 10.1% rise in September.

Jose Carvalho, head of consumer products, said: “The expensive festive period on the horizon, combined with ongoing concerns around the impact of inflation and supply chain shortages, has meant we’ve seen steady yet cautious spending from consumers in October.

“While the uncertainty around rising household bills appears to be weighing on Brits’ minds, the encouraging growth we’ve seen in entertainment and international travel shows that consumers are still keen to enjoy leisure activities and holidays.”

He added: “As the nation continues its Christmas shopping and gears up for Black Friday and other sales, we’re confident that November should bring some welcome cheer to retailers.”

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