Latest data showed that household spending in the UK was flat during May, following a sharp fall in April. The underlying trend in spending remained weak, with an accelerated decline seen on the 3m/3m measure (-1.1% in May, compared to April’s -0.7%).
This is according to Visa Europe’s UK Expenditure Index,which takes card spending data and adjusts it for a variety of factors to create a like-for-like comparison of consumer spending. This distinguishes the Index from Visa’s corporate performance, and thereby provides a robust indicator of consumer spending habits.
The flat spending picture in May is likely to reflect a mixture of the ongoing cautious nature of UK households given the difficult economic climate and recent news that the UK is back in recession. Moreover, spending may have been deferred ahead of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in early June.