According to new figures released by Barclaycard, the amount spent on credit and debit cards increased by 9.2% in August compared with the same month last year.
The card provider said August was the fourth month in a row during which the annual rate of growth had been more than 9%, challenging the belief that consumers were tightening their belts in the face of mass public spending cuts and VAT increases.
Food prices increasing spending
Barclaycard speculated that autumn sales, discounts and back-to-school spending had helped keep the retail sector buoyant during the month, while the rising cost of food and cotton may also be filtering through into prices, further boosting spending levels.
The rise in spending recorded by Barclaycard is backed up by new figures from the Office for National Statistics, which revealed that the volume of retail sales rose by 0.4% year-on-year and the value of those sales rose by 1.9%. The estimated total value of sales in August 2010 was £24.2 billion.
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