UK high street sales weak as shoppers focus on buying essentials : The Guardian


Spurt in spending in April was result of late Easter not upward trend, say Barclaycard and British Retail Consortium.

Barclaycard and the British Retail Consortium have warned that a spurt in spending in April was the result of the late timing of Easter and said the growing squeeze on incomes meant the underlying trend in high street activity was weak.

The two surveys found that rising inflation had resulted in consumers devoting an increasingly share of their pay packets on household essentials.

Barclaycard said consumer spending was 5.5% up on April 2016 but added that the increase was mainly driven by supermarkets and petrol stations. It said spending on these essentials was up more than 11% year on year, the fastest rate of growth since it began releasing consumer spending data in 2012.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “A late Easter and rising prices provided a superficial boost…

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