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Paper 10 banknote withdrawn from circulation

Paper notes no longer legal tender from today

1 Mar 2018, more…

Christmas period

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17 Jan 2018, more…

"The time has come to recognise the contribution the arts can make to our health and wellbeing."

The arts can help keep us well, aid recovery and support longer lives, better lived.

8 Nov 2017, more…

Significantly more independent stores opening compared to chains

More independents opened in first half of 2017 vs 2016

11 Oct 2017, more…

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Consumer spending slowed thanks to "Beast from the East"

Posted on 10 Apr 2018

Consumer spending growth slowed to just 2% in March as the "Beast from the East" kept shoppers at home.

According to the latest consumer spending data from Barclaycard, consumer spending grew 2% year-on-year in March, down from 3.8% in February, making it the lowest level of growth since April 2016.

street shopsIn-store spending fared particularly poorly, contracting 1.9% as a third (34%) of consumers reported the cold weather prompted them to spend less overall on the high street.

Online sales grew by 11.7%, however, as Brits chose to shop from the comfort of their own homes in the face of inclement weather.

The data also reveals that shoppers prioritised essential items, which rose 3.8%, while spending on the ‘nice-to-haves' increased by just 1.1%.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: "The ‘Beast from the East' took its toll on the high street in March, keeping shoppers at home and leading to a slowdown in consumer spending. Despite the dip in growth last month, however, expenditure was broadly stable in the first quarter.

"It seems consumers have become accustomed to adjusting their budget and as a result, are more confident in their own finances.

"While there are bright spots, however, it's important to note that a sense of caution still remains, with many of us hesitant to change our spending patterns no matter what the next few months may bring."