Britain’s hard-pressed consumers have tightened their purse strings further over the course of 2017 according to a new survey by Visa, with high street expenditure falling for a seventh straight month on the trot.
The string of declines look set to ensure 2017 becomes the worst year for UK consumer spending since 2012 with spending falling by 0.9% in November versus the same month a year ago, coming hot on the heels of a 2.1% fall in October.
Heaping further gloom on the past year Visa found that a rare bright spot, e-commerce spending, also conspired to disappoint with growth of just 2.4% - below the stellar spurts recorded in previous surveys.
Summarising their sums, Visa’s chief commercial officer Mark Antipof wrote: “November’s poor performance means that we stand by our earlier prediction that the UK will see its first fall in overall Christmas spending by consumers since 2012.
“It would appear that consumers are making further changes to their shopping priorities as a result of the increasing strain on household budgets. Cutbacks on big-ticket items such as car purchases and bookings for Christmas trips abroad led to the largest drop in spending.”
Various factors have been attributed to the disappointing numbers including falling wage growth, a rise in the cost of living and a devaluation of Sterling.
The downturn comes despite a broadening of payment methods in recent years with Visa leading the way over the summer with a 'payment ring' unveiled at the Fifa Confederations Cup.