Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Visa commented: “Following a marked slowdown in January, consumer spending restored some momentum in February. Overall spend grew at an annual rate of 1.5% from a low point of 0.4% in the previous month.
“Growth in the experience sector continues to be a significant driver. Valentine’s Day and the half-term break gave consumers more reasons to dine out and treat their loved ones to short getaways around the UK. At the same time, the level of growth in the leisure and hospitality sectors was softer than we have seen in the past year, showing signs that consumers are becoming more cautious with their discretionary spending. And for clothing retailers, February was yet another challenging month, recording the biggest drop across all the sectors that we track.
“Notably, online retailers continued to enjoy strong growth, while the high street trailed behind, declining for the third month in the last four.”
Imogen Hawthorne, Paisley Immy Cakes, Birmingham:
We’ve had a steady stream of business through in February, and March is already set to be a busy month as we’ve had a number of orders in, and the challenge will be fulfilling them all. We have noticed however that the prices of our ingredients are already rising. For now, we’re keeping a close eye on prices, but if things continue at this pace we may need to shop around for different suppliers.