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UK Spending Growth Slowed in May on Rising Bills, Poor Weather - BLOOMBERG

JUNE 04, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- Shoppers in the UK pared back spending last month as higher household bills and poor weather drove them away from high streets.

Card spending in May grew at the slowest pace in more than three years, rising only 1% from a year earlier, according to a monthly Barclays Plc report published Tuesday. Britons reined in spending on takeaways and fast food in particular, driving the category’s first decline since May 2020.

A separate report from the British Retail Consortium showed that total UK retail sales rose just 0.7% last month, compared with 3.9% a year ago. That still represented an improvement from the 4% decline posted the previous month.

The pullback follows annual price hikes on bills for household essentials in April, including council tax and broadband. But with inflation falling to near the Bank of England’s 2% target, there are signs of growing confidence among shoppers, with “real income growth and low unemployment all pointing to a gradual acceleration in consumer spending over the next 12 months,” said Jack Meaning, Barclay’s Chief UK Economist.


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