Consumer: Rise in spending and customer confidence

Consumers increased spending by 4.5 per cent in April, compared to the same month in 2014.
Consumers increased spending by 4.5 per cent in April, compared to the same month in 2014.
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Confidence amongst consumers is on the up as spending increased in April, aided by record-low inflation and improved personal finances.

Consumers increased their spending by 4.5 per cent in April 2015 from the same month last year, according to research by Barclaycard.

Chris Wood, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “Great weather, favourable economic conditions and the Easter holidays have culminated in a bumper month for consumer spending in April.

“Since Easter also fell in April last year, this is not a distorted picture and indicates a growing confidence sustained from the first quarter of this year.

“Low inflationary pressure is helping consumers to loosen the purse strings on non-essential spending in particular, with many taking the opportunity to make the most of an unseasonably fine British springtime.”

The General Election had little impact on people’s propensity to spend in April.

In Yorkshire there was a five per cent increase in year-on-year consumer spending in April.

The sunniest April on record encouraged more consumers to eat out, update their wardrobes for the summer, and improve their gardens.

Clothing retailers experienced a boost in spending, with women’s clothing increasing 11.7 per cent and men’s clothing growing even more strongly at 14.1 per cent. Spending at restaurants was up 13.4 per cent, while garden centre spending was up 12.2 per cent.

Difficulties faced by supermarkets are highlighted by the data, as they experienced a 0.2 per cent decrease in Yorkshire and a decrease of 0.4 per cent nationally.

Visa’s Expenditure Index for April also showed people across Britain spent more on going out and making home improvements. Visa’s index showed a two per cent increase in year-on-year spending.