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Visa Consumer Spending Index September 2019

Visa's UK Consumer Spending Index has been in decline for the past year, with the latest data showing that spending was down by 2.3% in September, marking the steepest drop since October 2012.

Spending volumes fell in six of the eight broad categories in September. Clothing & Footwear yet again remained weakest (-7.5% year-on-year, the sharpest fall in nearly two years), followed by Misc. Goods & Services (-7.0%), Transport & Communication (-6.7%) and Household Goods (-5.5%). Health & Education also continued to decline (-2.1%). Food, Beverages & Tobacco (-2.5%) slipped back into negative territory in September following growth in the previous month, while Recreation & Culture (+0.4%) saw a modest uptick after flat growth last month. Hotels, Restaurants & Bars (+2.7%) continued to report the strongest growth.

Visa Consumer Spending Index – September 2019

Source: Visa

The decrease in overall spending in September was predominantly driven by weak spending in-store, reflecting how shopping habits favour online. Face-to-Face expenditure – which has seen no growth for 11 months of the past year – slumped 4.5% year-on-year in September, marking the deepest decline in well over a year. 

Ecommerce spending faced a more modest drop, down by 0.6% in September.It is important to note that Visa expresses growth in volume terms. Adjusting for inflation means Visa’s overall spending data was broadly in line with figures released by BDO for September, but slightly ahead of the results reported by BRC-KPMG.

Visa Consumer Spending Index – Three months to September 2019

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

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