Clothing and footwear experienced a big resurgence in consumer spending during March, as high street figures reached their highest level since the third quarter of 2012.
Visa’s monthly UK Expenditure Index for March 2014 shows that year-on-year household spending increased by 0.7%, following a 0.3% increase in February. The strongest increase in spending was recorded in hotels and restaurants, followed by clothing and footwear, which experienced a 5.4% increase compared to last March.
Month-on-month expenditure rose solidly in March (up 1.6%), following a marginal reduction in February (down 0.3%). Quarterly spending figures signalled that underlying expenditure improved in March (+1.2%), after a slight deterioration in February (-0.5%).
The Visa UK Expenditure Index is based on spending on all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards which are used to make an average of more than 1.9 billion transactions every quarter.
Jeremy Nicholds, director of commercial development at Visa Europe said: “Consumer spending hasn’t been this strong since the third quarter of 2012 when Britain basked in the glow of the Olympics. Looking ahead, the economy is poised for a strong increase in consumer spending through the second quarter of 2014.
“Warm weather, growing consumer confidence, a buoyant property market and the end of the inflation squeeze – retailers are cheering all four as spending roared ahead in clothing, footwear and household goods in March.”