Consumer spending picked up in February with hotels, restaurants and bars

Fri 03 2017  |  admin

After a five-month low, growth in consumer spending picked up in February with hotels, restaurants and bars seeing a 1.2% rise in expenditure compared to the same time last year.

The Consumer Spending Index report compiled by Markit on behalf of Visa looks at all spending, not just that on cards.

Total spending across all segments rose 1.5% in February, up from 0.4% in January.

Spending rose in four of the eight broad sectors in February including: recreation and culture (3.3%); misc. goods and services, which includes health, beauty and jewellery (2%); hotels, restaurants and bars (1.2%); and health and education (0.9%).

Lower expenditure was seen in clothing and footwear (-4.5%); transport and communication (-4%); household goods (-3.1%) and food, beverages and tobacco (1%).

The survey also took into account the fact that as 2016 was a leap year, it had the benefit of an additional trading day in February.

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa said: “Following a marked slowdown in January, consumer spending restored some momentum in February. Overall spend grew at an annual rate of 1.5% from a low point of 0.4% in the previous month.

“Growth in the experience sector continues to be a significant driver. Valentine’s Day and the half-term break gave consumers more reasons to dine out and treat their loved ones to short getaways around the UK. At the same time, the level of growth in the leisure and hospitality sectors was softer than we have seen in the past year, showing signs that consumers are becoming more cautious with their discretionary spending.”

Visa asked several small UK businesses about their views on the economy, business conditions and forecasts for the month ahead.

Imogen Hawthorne, Paisley Immy Cakes, Birmingham said: “We’ve had a steady stream of business through in February, and March is already set to be a busy month as we’ve had a number of orders in, and the challenge will be fulfilling them all. We have noticed however that the prices of our ingredients are already rising. For now, we’re keeping a close eye on prices, but if things continue at this pace we may need to shop around for different suppliers.”

Via The Caterer