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Communities Minister hails eight month high in UK spending growth

Communities Minister hails eight month high in UK spending growth

Visa Europe | Visa

2 min read Partner content

Communities Minister Marcus Jones has today welcomed new figures, which show that annual growth in UK consumer spending has hit its highest level in eight months. 

Visa Europe’s latest Consumer Spending Index has revealed an encouraging performance by UK retailers, with spending rising solidly in January by 2.7% compared with the same time last year.

This represents the strongest year-on-year increase for eight months and is up on December’s annual rise of 2.2%. 

The data also found that both face-to-face spending and e-commerce had improved over the year, rising by 2.7% and 4.6% respectively.

Responding to the findings Mr Jones said: “Today’s analysis showing growth in high street spending is at an eight-month high is great news for town centres across the country.

“The local high street is often the life and soul of towns, villages and cities across the country. They are a crucial part of our local and regional economies, creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and injecting billions of pounds into our economy.

“Our high streets and retailers have shown themselves to be highly adaptable, resilient and creative by exploiting the opportunities created by on-line shopping with the rise in click and collect buying – as shown by this analysis which has found that e-commerce expenditure continues to increase at a solid rate.

The sectors driving the growth were restaurants and bars with a 9.7% year-on-year rise, and Recreation & Culture at 7.8%.

Expenditure also rose solidly in the clothing and footwear category by 5.0% on the year, which offset a marginal fall in December of -1.2%.

Strong increases in expenditure were also seen in household goods and food, beverages and tobacco sectors.

Explaining how the Government planned to support retailers, the Communities Minister continued: “Small Businesses are so important to the economy and to individual communities, which is why the Government has introduced a £1.4 billion package of targeted support for business rate bills, and extended the small business rate relief scheme which means 400,000 small businesses pay no rates.

“Already our billion pound package of support has meant that investment in property is up 30%, town centre vacancy rates have fallen to under 10% and retail sales have increased for the longest period on record.

“I am currently working with Simon Roberts, my co-chair on the Future High Street Forum to help the Forum become a more delivery-focussed organisation.

“We will be working on new aspects, such as adapting to changing consumer needs and wants – so developing better leisure opportunities, local services, a stronger evening economy and crucially, more residential.”

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Read the most recent article written by Visa Europe - Latest spending figures show record highs




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