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Online spending up by 9.9%, but leisure benefits ahead of retail from in-store spending growth: Barclaycard

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Online spending grew by 9.9% in August as in-store spending continued to ride high, new figures from Barclaycard suggest. But while leisure spending grew as shoppers made the most of the best summer weather in recent years, retail spending was down in many categories, the figures also suggest.

Barclaycard’s analysis of the credit and debit card transactions it handled during the month found spending grew by 4.4% during the month, compared to the same time last year,with the amount spent in shops up by 3.3%.

Spending in restaurants grew by 13.3% in August 2012, while cinemas and theatres (+8.1%), hotels (+6.7%) and public transport (+5%) also benefitted. But shops were less of a beneficiary of the spending rise. DIY stores, where spending rose by 6.4%, were an outlier for a category that also saw spending in electronics stores fall by 1.4%, along with spending on family clothing (-0.9%), in department stores (-0.8%) and in supermarkets (-0.1%).

Online, however, the story was different. Online furniture stores saw spending rise by 36% on last year, women’s clothing spending was up by 32%, and online department stores saw growth of 16% compared to 2012. However, growth in overall online spending remains slower than

Barclaycard says the spending figures reinforce other recent data suggesting that the UK economy is on the way up, along with UK consumer confidence.

Its chief executive Val Soranno Keating says they continue a trend seen for most of the year, that has “helped establish 2013 as the year of recovery.”

“The weather has undoubtedly helped,” she said. “It was confirmed last week that we’ve enjoyed one of the warmest summers on record and the consumer response has been to hit the high street, with in-store spending growing in August by a robust 3.3% versus last year – the second highest level this year. Spending on eating out, holidaying in the UK and doing up the house grew particularly strongly in August.

“When set alongside the other economic news we’ve seen recently and with forecasters predicting an above average September weather-wise, we expect this month to be another positive one and for UK plc to end the third quarter on a high.”

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