Consumer spending rises in May: Barclaycard

UK consumer spending rose 1.3% in May, driven by warmer weather and bank holiday weekends, according to new data from Barclaycard.

Clothing performed particularly strongly, growing 11.4% on last year, the firm said.

The increase in May follows a 3.7% rise in April and is the second successive month of above-inflation increases after a flat start to 2014.

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But consumers remain cautious, warned Barclaycard, switching spend and trading down to treat themselves.

Online spending grew 13.1% in the month, posting its best performance in a year and recovering from a slowdown in April, caused by the late Easter.

This was helped by significant growth in spending on clothing – which was up 35%, echoing its strong performance overall.

Barclaycard CEO Val Soranno Keating said: “Clothing stores and restaurants felt the benefit of one of the warmest springs on record and the May bank holidays, but the overall picture is one of continuing caution.

“There remains a disconnect between the improving economic picture nationally and what households are experiencing locally – so they’re spending a bit more here and there but aren’t yet ready to splash out. This is keeping a lid on overall growth.

“While there are clearly positive signs, until we see the improvements at the macro level feed through to households we expect consumers to remain cautious and increases in spending to continue to be muted.”

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