Card spending falls for first time in more than three years, Barclays says

Card spending fell last month for the first time in more than three years, according to Barclays.

It’s the first time there’s been a drop in card spending values since February 2021, the bank’s June data showed.

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The figures cover nearly 40% of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions and combine it with consumer research.

It’s due to a combination of prices rising less than before, as inflation weakened, and wet weather dampening clothes, pub and garden centre sales early in the month.

Falls were also seen in supermarket card spending, which declined for the first time since June 2022, two years ago.

Barclays attribute this to consumer cutbacks in addition to sharp falls in food inflation.

Most shoppers (65%) said they’re cutting weekly grocery spend and more than half are looking for loyalty scheme discounts and other shop deals.

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Inflation returned to target levels in May

The weather meant two in five Britons said they spent less than usual on summer products with clothes being the most common cutback.

But growth was seen in entertainment and cinemas had their busiest day of the year on 15 June, the day after Disney Pixar’s Inside Out 2 was released.

More was spent on takeaways and streaming services as new seasons of shows like Bridgerton and House Of The Dragon were released.

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The Euros football tournament also gave a boost to spending in pubs, bars and clubs – though restaurant spending was also down, which Barclays said reflected people’s selective and cost-conscious approach.

International holiday spending with airlines and travel agents also grew during the month but bookings at domestic hotels and resorts dropped.

There were signs of economic hope, too, as 73% of people said they felt more optimistic about their ability to live within their means.

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