Consumer spending drops in Feb but hospitality remains strongest performing sector

Spending fell for the ninth time in ten months

Consumer spending dropped even further in February, making it the weakest start to a year since 2012, but hospitality has remained as the best performing sector.

That is according to Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index for February, compiled by economists at IHS Markit and based on Visa card spend.

Consumer spending during the month fell for the ninth time in ten months, falling 1.1% year on year, however after a modest fall in January to 3.7%, Hotels, Restaurants & Bars was the strongest performing sector seeing expenditure rise solidly on an annual basis with an increase of 4.4%.

Mark Antipof, chief commercial officer at Visa, said: “Britons have been in belt-tightening mode since last summer. February’s cold snap certainly didn’t alleviate this situation. On the other hand, hotels, restaurants and bars experienced another strong month. The resilience of this sector is somewhat unique, having reported uninterrupted growth since February 2011.

“As we look ahead into March, consumer spending is at risk of posting one of the worst Q1 results on record.”

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