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Consumer spending begins to return to normal as Britain opens up

NEWPORT, WALES (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Year-on-year consumer spending in June declined less than it has any other month since lockdown began, according to new data from Barclaycard.

The 14.5% decline from June 2019 was a marked improvement compared to earlier months in the year.

However, the report suggested that the high street may have a long recovery period ahead as over half (56%) of consumers continue to avoid non-essential shops.

Spending on non-essential items fell 22.3%, an improvement on the decline seen in May (-36.9%) as the gradual re-opening of non-essential shops saw general retailers increase by 31.7%.

Three in 10 Brits admit to delaying shopping because they are afraid of getting or spreading coronavirus, while 18% say they are put off by crowds.

New social distancing rules are providing some reassurance, with nearly a fifth more likely to return to shops because of these precautions.

Meanwhile, spending on essentials has rise significantly in June, with a year-on-year increase of 6.6% compared to May’s 0.9% rise.

This was largely driven by shopping in supermarkets, said Barclaycard, with the category rising by 25.7% overall – its sharpest since the start of the year.

Elsewhere, while overall spending on eating and drinking declined by 56.4% year-on-year, this represents a less steep drop than May (70.3%).


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