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Visa Consumer Spending Index December 2019

Visa's UK Consumer Spending Index continued to fall in December, with expenditure down by 1.2% year-on-year, driven by a strong ecommerce performance. This was up on the 2.0% decline in November while the three-month-on-three-month measure also suggested that underlying conditions are improving with a 0.5% uplift.

Spending volumes fell in six out of the eight categories monitored. Health & Education (-3.8%) was the weakest performing category closely followed by Household Goods (-3.6%) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco (-3.5%). Elsewhere, there was much improvement for the Clothing & Footwear (-0.2%) and Misc. Goods & Services (-0.6%) categories.

Hotels, Restaurants & Bars was the strongest performing category for the second consecutive month, with spending rising by 3.8% year-on-year, while Recreation & Culture (+1.5%) bounced back from its disappointing performance in the previous month.

Visa Consumer Spending Index – December 2019

Source: Visa

The acceleration in Ecommerce (+3.8%) spending in December was supported by the later timing of Cyber Monday which fell into the December trading period in 2019. This resulted in the strongest growth rate since August 2017.

Meanwhile, store spending continued to disappoint, with the decline in Face-to-Face expenditure accelerating to -3.4% in December, the sharpest decline since September 2019.

It should be noted that Visa expresses growth in volume terms. Adjusting for inflation means Visa’s overall spending data was weaker than the sales data reported by BRC-KPMG and BDO for December.

Visa Consumer Spending Index – Three months to December 2019

Source: Visa (note: data not adjusted for seasonality)

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