Eating and travelling lead to merrier sales

Online consumer spending grew at the fastest rate for 16 months in April boosted by the ‘experience economy’ of eating out and travelling.
According to Visa’s Consumer Spending Index for April total consumer spending rose by 2.5% year-on-year last month. E-commerce grew at a rate of 8.4% year-on-year but face-to-face expenditure came in broadly flat up by just 2%.
Visa Europe said consumer spending was increasingly focused on the so-called ‘experience economy’.
“Eating out, booking holidays and discovering new experiences are all driving spending growth at a time when the lower cost of living is creating higher disposable incomes. In a month of mostly growth, the only sector to disappoint was clothing and footwear, again highlighting this shift,” said Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director. “A very strong month for online sellers suggests much of the experience economy is being driven by pre-booking of activities online. While online prospered, face-to-face spending was relatively flat, highlighting the current discussion about the future shape of the high street as well. Eyes will now be on May, with a sunny start to the month providing promise for the high street but also a further fillip for restaurants and hotels looking to capitalise on our desire for experiences.”