British consumers vanquish autumn blues with trips to pubs, restaurants and hotels

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Strong growth in household expenditure this autumn has boosted hopes that the UK will avoid the worst of any economic reaction to Brexit negotiations.

October saw a 2.5 per cent annual rate of growth in expenditure across the country with hotels, restaurants and bars performing the best.

The Visa UK Consumer Spending Index showed that was up from the 2.3 per cent rise in September and the healthiest rate of increase in six months.

New season stock, combined with a chilly start to winter created the perfect conditions for the high street

Highlights of the report were that spending on clothing and footwear increased at its quickest rate since last September by 4.7 per cent.

The recreation and culture sector, which included spending on cinema and theme parks, saw an increase of 7.4 per cent in annual spending.

E-commerce shopping increased by 4.3 per cent on-year. Face-to-face expenditure expanded for the first time in three months by 1.8 per cent.

Commenting on the report, Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa said: ‘Consumer shopping growth rose to a six month high in October. Talk of potential price rises does not appear to have dented consumers’ confidence’.

‘The experience economy continued to fuel this growth. Hospitality and leisure were the best performing sectors once again, boosted perhaps by the half term break and Halloween, with a noticeable increase in spend on food and drink.’

‘We’ve also seen two strong comebacks this month. Clothing and footwear bounced back strongly from a disappointing dip in the previous month, up 4.7% in October, and the highest level of growth since September 2015.

‘New season stock, combined with a chilly start to winter created the perfect conditions for the high street to rebound from last month’s flat line.’

‘As we get closer to the all-important Christmas trading season, it will be interesting to see whether the strong momentum in October continues into Black Friday and beyond’, Jenkins added.

The index, compiled by Markit, reflects overall consumer spending, not just that on cards.