Consumer spending reached a six-month high in October as high street shops and restaurants report continued profits in the run-up to Christmas.
The Visa consumer spending index, compiled by Markit, signalled “robust growth” in household expenditure.
Spending rose 2.5 per cent, up from 2.3 per cent in September – its strongest rate of increase in six months.
Meanwhile, E-commerce expenditure increased 4.3 per cent, and face-to-face expenditure increased for the first time more than three months, moving up 1.8 per cent.
The hotel, restaurant and bar industry jumped nine per cent, while spending on clothing and footwear rose 4.7 per cent in the same period.
Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa, believes that the talk of potential price rises did not appear to have dented consumer confidence.
“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,” he said.
Josh Beer, Business Development Manager at the Illustrious Pub Company, said October tends to be a good month for the restaurant sector as new winter events are launched.
“We look to Christmas parties and gatherings as key revenue drivers for the rest of the year. Although these haven’t been totally booked up yet, it feels as though people are increasingly leaving making bookings late.”
“There does seem to be concerns about inflation and petrol price rises. Bearing this in mind we’re taking a cautious view as we look to the future,” he adds.