More signs of growing consumer confidence: August spending at a 13-month high, says Barclaycard

In another sign that consumers are taking a “business as usual” approach after the shock of the EU referendum, the latest Barclaycard consumer spending data (for August) has reached a 13-month high of 4.2%, in contrast to the muted growth of 2.6% in July, immediately post-Referendum.

The warmer weather last month also prompted shoppers to put their hands in their pockets more often on clothes and entertainment.

However, the data revealed that many continued to take a “business as usual” approach to spending throughout August, as they saw little change to their disposable income following the outcome of the EU referendum.

In particular, spending on experiences and holidays recorded strong growth . Hotel spend rose 14.9% – its highest year-on-year increase in 24 months – while spending in pubs and restaurants experienced double-digit growth of 13.3% and 12.7% respectively.

In-store spend growth also received a boost, surpassing the 1% mark for the first time since July 2015.

However, many consumers have remained cautious, as just 58% of consumers expressed confidence in their household finances – keeping overall sentiment in the wider economy low.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “Consumer spending has continued to grow after the EU referendum, with August being a particular stand-out month considering confidence in household finances remains low compared to levels seen last year.

“Spending peaks in travel and hotels indicate that most consumers were firmly committed to their summer plans, and spent on trips and excursions they booked months in advance. Yet confidence continues to be shaky as the wider economic picture remains uncertain, suggesting it’s too soon to tell if this lift in spending will last once everyone’s holiday tans have faded.”

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