Consumer spending holds in February despite uncertainty

07 March 2018

Consumer spending growth held steady in February, up 3.8% year-on-year, according to new data from Barclaycard.

The figures show that supermarket and c-store spending (3.2%) returned to levels seen over the past six months after a spike of 4.4% in January. This kept expenditure growth on essentials, of which grocery and convenience spend is a major component, to 3.4%.

The research found that the mood among UK consumers remains subdued, with political uncertainty weighing heavily on consumers’ minds.

Consumers also continue to be downbeat about their current spending power, with 54% feeling confident in their household finances, in line with January’s levels. The research found 39% of Britons believe they have less money to spend now than they did this time last year, of these 67% say it is because their weekly shop seems more expensive than it used to be.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “This is the third consecutive month that we’ve seen household spending growth above the prevailing rate of inflation suggesting that, while consumers remain cautious about their household finances, they continue to strike a balance between spending on essentials and on luxuries, whether that’s a holiday abroad or tickets for the latest blockbuster.”