UK Consumer spending still down in June

consumer retail image

UK Consumer spending is still down in June, according to a new report from Visa.  However, the fall in spending is not as bad as previous months.

How much is spending down by?

Total spending is down by 6.5% in June compared to June 2019.  This followed falls of 20% in May and 29% in April.

The main reason spending in June was not so bad is because we spent far more online.  Online sales increased by 15% compared to last year.  Spending in shops though was down by 20%.

How did each retail sector do?

The report breaks down spending in different areas.  Only two areas saw increased sales.  The rest saw sales fall;

  • Household Goods +30%
  • Food, Drink & Tobacco +27%
  • Recreation -6%
  • Miscellaneous -7%
  • Clothing -14%
  • Transport -30%
  • Health & Education -36%
  • Hotels, Restaurants & Bars -60%.

How reliable is this report?

Although the Visa report is not an official government statistic, the data is based on Visa use, which accounts for £1 in every £3 spent.  The report is used by many organisations, including the UK Treasury.

So what could this all mean?

According to Adolfo Laurenti of Visa;

“The latest UK Consumer Spending Index shows signs of gradual healing in the economy following the COVID-19 shock during the Spring. While still -6.5% below the June 2019 level, consumer spending in June 2020 rose compared to the prior month. Ecommerce continues to drive the rebound, surging 15% for the year, while face-to-face transactions remained suppressed…

it appears that consumers are eager to return to some level of normalcy. Progress in containing the epidemic is helping to shore up confidence, although the public continues to be selective in its spending, and to show overall caution.”

Notes and Sources

Details from card provider Visa and research company IHS/Markit.

Some numbers rounded to make the article easier to read.

Full details of the Visa / IHS Markit press release here.