Spending on clothing and footwear fell in January amid growing caution among consumers, Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index has shown.
Overall household spending fell by 1.2% year on year – the first time it has dropped in January since 2013. Spending has now fallen in eight of the past nine months.
Transport and communication saw the steepest rate of reduction, down 6.5%, followed by recreation and culture (down 4.3%) and clothing and footwear (down 2%). Conversely, spending on eating and drinking out rose 3.7% year on year.
Online spending was up 1.5% year on year, but this is the slowest rate of growth recorded since May 2017.
Mark Antipof, chief commercial officer at Visa, said: “Consumer spending entered the new year on a downbeat note, falling for the eighth time in the past nine months, as Britons continued to cut back on spending.
“Clothing, furniture and household goods bore the brunt of consumers’ caution yet again, while spending on the British high street in general fell sharply as the traditional January Sales failed to bring shoppers out in numbers this year.”