Consumer spending is finally starting to improve after a long period of political uncertainty, new research has found.
Barclaycard has reported that consumer spending grew by 1% year on year in the month of December, compared with the same month in 2018.
However, many retailers showed contractions in year-on-year sales: clothing spend was down 3.3% in the period, while specialist retailers such as toys and computer game stores saw a decline of 4%.
Barclaycard said that following the general election consumers showed renewed confidence in the UK economy: four in 10 (41%) indicated they were feeling “upbeat” – up 10 percentage points on November and the highest level throughout all of 2019.
“Consumer confidence is finally improving after a long period of political uncertainty,” said Esme Harwood, director of Barclaycard.
“This optimism hasn’t yet translated into high street sales, but spending on experiences continues to grow, with Brits enjoying box office hits and trips to the pub. While consumers remain reluctant to spend on big-ticket items, the mood seems to be changing.”