Warm weather aids rebound in consumer spending

DARTFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02:  Shoppers walk on the High Street on September 2, 2013 in Dartford, England. High Street campaigner Mary Portas is today facing questions from Members of Parliament on the communities and local government select committee. The traditional high street is under increasing pressure due to the recession and the rise of on-line shopping.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The recent warm weather may be behind a rebound in consumer spending in May according to figures released by Barclaycard.

Spending was up by 3.6% in May – following growth of just 1.6% in March and 1.9% in April – which Barclaycard states is in all probability, down to the spring weather and bank holidays.

Spending on the high street was also up (0.7%) for the first time since October last year but online spending still managed growth of 12.5%.

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Confidence in  household finances rose three percent to 60%, but still down from a high of 71% in 2015.

Uncertainty over the EU Referendum was blamed for knocking public confidence in the UK economy, down from 35% to 30% in the same period.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “Warmer weather is generally a good pre-cursor for a positive uplift in consumer spending and May proved to be no exception. The eventual arrival of spring brought about a reversal of the fall we saw in spending on the home and clothing in March and April and acted as a welcome boost to retailers in those sectors.

“Consumers are increasingly confident in their ability to manage their own finances, but their view of the health of UK plc has continued to fall as a consequence of continuing nervousness over the wider economy. While it’s encouraging to see May’s numbers move sharply positive, 2016 spend is trending significantly below last year so it will be interesting to see whether these numbers are a seasonal blip or the beginning of a real and sustainable upturn in consumer spending”.

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