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Consumers Spend More in March as Fine Conditions Encourage Shopping

10 April 2019 - 13:59 by Graham Miller

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The latest statistics published by Barclaycard show that March was a good month for the UK’s retail sector, at least in the context of the less than ideal conditions it has faced in the past couple of years.

Brits spent 3.1 per cent more last month than they did during the same period in 2018, with analysts admitting that this is partly related to the fact that there was a particularly problematic spell of minimal spending in March last year.

Once again it was the weather that managed to convince people to splash out more via safe shopping online and at high street outlets, with warmer temperatures and sunny conditions putting consumers in a positive frame of mind.

Meanwhile, back in 2018 the nation was dealing with snow and frost as the so-called Beast from the East took its toll and stifled spending across the board.

The study also looked at general levels of consumer confidence, concluding that over two-thirds of people are concerned about the state of the UK’s economy and the future prospects that the country faces with the ongoing Brexit dilemmas on the horizon.

Report spokesperson Esme Harwood said that consumers spent more last month not only at retail stores but also at pubs and restaurants as fine weather convinced them to get out and about.

She also pointed out that even with these apparently positive figures, it was worth remembering that there is still a lot of uncertainty impacting the retail market in the UK at the moment and that this state of affairs is unlikely to change any time soon.

Analysts will be keeping a close eye on how spending fluctuates over the coming months, with many predicting that retail will continue to be hampered by low consumer confidence levels in 2019.