Consumer confidence in the UK economy has reached the highest level in two years, according to new data from Barclaycard.

In a study of 2,000 people, 48% said they feel upbeat about the UK economy, a rise from just 34% who felt the same before the EU Referendum vote in June, and the highest level since Barclaycard began tracking consumer confidence in 2014.

More consumers now feel confident about the UK Economy than those that don’t – in the first two quarters of the year pessimists outweighed optimists by almost two to one.


Consumer spending, meanwhile, maintained an upward trajectory in the third quarter of the year.

Payments grew 3.6% – up from 2.8% and 3.1% in the first and second quarters of 2016.

Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, also found that consumers spent 4.2% more in September 2016 than the same month last year.

This made it the joint-strongest month for growth this year following the same increase in August, after muted 2.6% growth seen in July.

Mixed fortunes are set to continue for high street retailers as consumers plan for the festive season.

While the majority of consumers (57%) expect to spend money during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales period – most likely on new clothes (41%), smartphones/tablets (33%) and videogames/CDs (32%) – many are planning a more modest Christmas, with four in 10 (39%) saying they plan to spend less than last year.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “For the first time since Barclaycard began tracking consumer confidence in 2014, more people now tell us they feel confident about the UK economy than those who don’t, and the proportion has jumped since the EU Referendum vote in June.

“This recovery in confidence, combined with the warmer September weather, helped to prolong the summer feeling amongst consumers last month.”