Spending rises over the festive period – report

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CONSUMER spending in the south east rose just above inflation during the Christmas period, but lagged behind other areas in the UK.

That’s according to research released by Barclaycard, which showed spending nationally was up 2.9 per cent over the Christmas period compared to 2012.

Most people, the credit card company said, focused their spending on discount days such as Black Friday and Mega Monday and used the internet to compare prices and save money.

Northern Ireland and Scotland saw the strongest spend growth of the 12 UK regions. The south east, with spend growth of 2.2 per cent, lagged behind.

Barclaycard said that the heavily discounted ‘Black Friday/Mega Monday’ weekend in late November/early December saw spending up 10.4 per cent against 2012, and Christmas Day and Boxing Day saw spending up 13.6 per cent.

Online spending as a share of total spend grew 1.2 per cent to 20.5 per cent. Heavy retailer discounting, however, helped push average transaction values down 3.5 per cent.