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Warm weather sees customer spend rise in April

A sharp uplift in clothing sales in April drove an overall increase in yearly consumer spend, according to figures from Barclaycard.

The amount spent on clothing increased by 13.8% in April 2013 on the previous year, far outstripping the average retail increase growth of 3.7%.

But despite the increase, the same research also shows that the average individual transaction in April was down on last year’s figure, suggesting that shoppers are making more trips but spending less in the shops and online.

The findings are based on debit and credit card transactions monitored by Barclaycard on a monthly basis.

The credit card operator said that the figures showed a “blip” in consumer spending driven partly by April’s warm weather and the relatively late Easter weekend compared with last year.

Barclaycard chief executive Val Soranno Keating said: “Though many economic indicators continue to paint a positive picture and the talk is of a recovering economy, the improvements are yet to trickle down and positively impact on household budgets.

“While the growth in spending in April is encouraging, this is as likely to reflect the better weather and the long Easter weekend as any improvement in the economy”.

The monthly update shows that supermarket spending was up by 8.9% in the period, while department stores saw a more moderate uplift of 4.1%.

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