Subscribe Login
DE4CC0DE-5FC3-4494-BCBF-4D50B00366B5
Retail

UK Consumers Slash Spending On Less Urgent Items: ONS

British consumer spending on non-urgent items - such as clothing, furniture and cars - fell last week to its lowest since February as spending on petrol surged, according to official data on Thursday based on credit and debt card usage.

The Office for National Statistics said spending on goods that it classes as 'delayable' fell to 80% of its pre-pandemic February 2020 average level in the week to July 21, compared with 86% in the week before.

The figures are not adjusted for inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 9.4% in June.

Adjusting for inflation, consumer spending has become increasingly skewed towards work-related spending - reflecting the soaring cost of fuelling cars for commuting.

Last week, real-terms card spending in this category stood 28% above its February 2020 average, based on a Reuters calculation that assumes unchanged annual inflation of 9.4% in July.

By contrast, inflation-adjusted card spending on delayable items stood some 28% below its February 2020 average.

Soaring Energy Costs

Overall the figures underline the changing patterns of consumption as households struggle to adapt to soaring energy costs.

The ONS card spending data do not capture most household energy bills, which are typically paid through bank direct debits.

Separate data from online payment provider Revolut showed spending on petrol and diesel was 48% higher than at the same point a year ago.

Total card spending on credit and debit cards last week matched its February 2020 average in current prices - but after adjusting for inflation, was down nearly 11%.

Read More: UK Retail Sales Slip In June As Consumers Struggle With Inflation

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Get exclusive access to the latest grocery retail & FMCG news, interviews with industry leading executives, and expert analysis on the trends shaping the sector today
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Get exclusive access to the latest grocery retail & FMCG news, interviews with industry leading executives, and expert analysis on the trends shaping the sector today
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days