Consumer spending slows amid economic and political uncertainty

Visa’s Consumer Spending Index for May shows consumer spending slows amid economic and political uncertainty. Compiled by Markit, the Index is distinct from Visa Europe’s business performance and reflects overall consumer spending, not just that on cards.
Headline findings:
  • Slowest increase in consumer spending since February 2014 (+0.8% on the year)
  • Transportation and communications dropped -5.2% year-on-year, driven by slowing growth in car sales
  • Clothing & Footwear retailers buck the trend, posting +4.2% year-on-year, its first rise in three months
  • Growth in e-commerce slows to +2.3% year-on-year while face-to-face expenditure falls slightly on an annual basis (-0.8%)
Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director Visa Europe said:
“Following a strong run in the first four months of the year, it seems that consumer spending growth has finally caught up with the uncertainty around the UK economy. Shoppers have clearly reined back their spending overall, and in particular, on big ticket items.  Of the big drop in spending across the transportation and communications sector, slower growth in car sales appears to be a significant driver."