Retail

Brexit Won’t Stop Consumer Spending

UK Consumer Spending

Despite the concerns and challenges that have arisen since last year’s Brexit decision, U.K. consumer spending is on the rise.

According to research from Visa, cash withdrawals and card spending in the last months of 2016 grew by an average of 2.8 percent. This was twice as much as the average rates measured in Q2 and Q3.

The results show the fastest quarterly growth since the last three months of 2014, Business Insider reported.

“Growth was once again led by the experience sector, with consumers going to Christmas markets, travelling to visit loved ones or venturing to various parts of the country to celebrate. Food was, unsurprisingly, another sector which performed well, with spend up 2.9 percent,” Kevin Jenkins, U.K. and Ireland managing director at Visa, said in a statement.

Jenkins noted that the overall growth was boosted by Christmas-related activities and a national sales drive.

While the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union has created uncertain conditions for retailers, online sales in December remained strong and even brick-and-mortar locations saw an improvement.

“The first two weeks of December were quite busy for us with lots of online orders coming in. But now that our business has moved online, we’ve noticed that customers started to grow more concerned about having their gifts arrive ahead of [Dec. 25]. As this was our first year as an online-only business, it was a bit harder for us to know what to expect, but overall sales remained steady and we noticed a good number of customers using our gifting services,” Gayle Haddock of Carry Me Home, children’s clothing retailer, told Visa.

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