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Consumer spending grows in April after March was hit by Beast from the East

09 May 2018 by

Consumer spending saw year-on-year growth of 3.4% in April providing some much-needed relief after the Beast from the East hit trading in March.

March had seen a 2% fall in consumer spending as poor weather scuppered travel plans, according to data collected by Barclaycard.

Spending on "nice-to-haves" grew by 3.7% in April with entertainment seeing a 7.1% upturn. Meanwhile essential spending slumped to a 21-month low.

Pubs and restaurants saw growth of 7.6% and 7.2% respectively, below the double-digit growth seen for much of 2017.

Barclaycard has said the growth in spending matches "relatively upbeat" consumer sentiment.

Managing director Paul Lockstone said: "While spending has recovered slightly from the effects of the Beast from the East, it's likely we've seen some missing expenditure from March carry over to April as the weather finally allowed shoppers to venture back outside.

"Consumers prioritised spending on the ‘nice-to-haves' last month, but there's no indication that they are looking to loosen the purse strings quite yet. Instead, the UK seems to be caught in a holding pattern, with people still budgeting carefully. Looking ahead, uncertainty around interest rates is weighing on the minds of many, with people prepared to cut back on non-essentials in order to cope with a rate rise."

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