Consumer spending in the UK fell in October, and clothing and footwear taking the biggest hit, Visa’s latest report has shown.
Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index showed spending in October dipped 0.2% year on year – the first fall in three months.
Clothing and footwear registered the steepest reduction, down 3.2% on the year, which also marked the first decline in the sector since April.
Visa said spending habits have been “relatively subdued” in 2018 to date, and there have been declines in six of the ten months so far.
Adolfo Laurenti, European principal economist at Visa, said: “A dip in October spending, particularly pronounced for face-to-face expenditure, dispels the sense of optimism that a few months of small gains had generated during the summer.
“No doubt this disappointing reading will cause some concern for high street retailers as we head into the key Christmas shopping period.
“We look at improvement in wages and an easing in inflationary pressures as factors that may fuel hopes for some much-needed respite for retailers following what has been a very difficult year to date.”