Consumer spending slowed in July

The latest Barclaycard consumer confidence research has shown caution among consumers, as spending rose 2.6% in July, with growth levels down on those seen in May and June. 

The Barclaycard data revealed many adopted a "business as usual" approach to outgoings in the month following the Brexit vote, despite the dip in growth.

Consumer spending growth slowed slightly to 2.6% in July (down from 3.6% growth in May and June), as overall confidence cooled in response to economic and political uncertainty.

Nearly half (49%) of consumers said they were not confident in their ability to spend more on non-essential items, the highest figure since February. But consumer spending in restaurants and pubs remained resilient (up 12.2% and 12.8% respectively), perhaps thanks to the warmer weather, with overall entertainment spend up 10.7% year-on-year (yoy) in July.  

However, overall confidence levels have dipped, and 54% of consumers expressed confidence in their household finances, significantly lower than the 71% average recorded in 2015.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “Softer spend growth in July was perhaps to be expected given the external economic and political context. While growth did slow, some categories performed well as consumers adopted a ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach, showing that they are still prepared to spend where it matters – enjoying quality time with friends and family.”

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