Furniture store card spending down in April 2024

Consumer card spending in furniture stores declined during April when compared to last year, says new data from Barclays.

According to the latest Barclays Consumer Spending Index, which includes both debit and credit cards, furniture store spending growth declined 4% – down for a sixteenth consecutive month, while transaction growth was positive, up 4.9% against the same month last year.

Home improvement and DIY stores saw spending growth fall 6.6%, with transaction growth down 1%. Department stores saw spending growth decrease 1.4%, with transaction growth up by 1.2%. Discount stores saw a decline of 8.6% in spend growth, while transaction growth was down 11.3%.

Overall, consumer card spending slowed to 1.6 per cent growth in April, down from 1.9 per cent in both March and February, and below the latest CPIH inflation rate of 3.8 per cent. While consumer confidence in household finances rose to its highest level in over three years, a slowdown in food price inflation and cutbacks on food and drink led to a decline for restaurants and the smallest uplift in supermarket spending since June 2022. Meanwhile, cold and wet weather dampened retail sales, but Easter and summer holiday bookings boosted pubs, entertainment and international travel.

Karen Johnson, Head of Retail at Barclays, said: “Retailers were hopeful that discretionary spending would bounce back by mid-year, buoyed by falling inflation and the prospect of better weather. While improving consumer confidence offers a ray of hope for the retail and hospitality industries as the summer season approaches, many retailers have adjusted their expectations, anticipating no real recovery until the autumn.”

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