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Consumer spending hit by ‘muted’ growth

UK shoppers continued to hold back on retail spend last month, as dwindling consumer confidence led department store spend to fall by 3.9% year on year.

With less than a third (29%) of consumers feeling positive about the UK economy at present, total spending grew by just 1.7% year on year in July. Barclaycard said this represents a decline in real terms when accounting for inflation.

It follows “similarly muted results” in May and June – up 1.1% and 0.9% respectively.

More than half (54%) of consumers remain confident in their ability to shop non-essential items, including entertainment, pub and restaurant spend, which was up by 2.4% last month.

Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said: “Spending has remained relatively subdued over the past few months, with an underlying uncertainty about the wider economic and political landscape causing many to hold off making purchases on bigger ticket items.”

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