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Spending up, especially in specialist stores

Consumer card spending rose by 15.4% in August compared to the same period in 2019, with growth recorded across all sectors apart from international travel.

Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation's credit and debit card transactions, reveals how the end of summer gave the economy a boost, while shedding light on the inflation concerns causing many to review their spending habits.

The growth was bolstered by spending at supermarkets and food and drink specialist stores which were up 15.2% and 76.9% respectively.

With office workers adjusting to new work and lifestyle patterns, this growth looks set to continue. Of those returning to the office after having worked from home during the pandemic, 34% plan to spend more on takeaway breakfast or lunch, and 26% intend to up their spending on socialising after work.

However, Barclaycard says this optimism could be dampened by concerns about rising prices, as almost two thirds (64%) of consumers worry that everyday items are becoming more expensive, and of those, 42% are already making lifestyle changes as a result.

Over a third (35%) say rising inflation will make them more likely to seek value in the purchases they make, and 30% are concerned about the impact of inflation on the value of their cash savings. These fears have led to nearly two fifths (37%) of Brits making cutbacks now to ensure they can afford higher outgoings for Christmas.

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