British consumers cut their spending for the first time in nearly four years last month, figures from credit card firm Visa showed, as households turned more cautious even before last week’s shock election result.
Consumer spending in May was 0.8 per cent lower than in the same month in 2016 after adjusting for inflation, the first year-on-year fall since September 2013, Visa said on Monday. Sales fell by a hefty 1.9 per cent in monthly terms.
“Our index clearly shows that with rising prices and stalling wage growth, more of us are starting to feel the squeeze,” Visa managing director Kevin Jenkins said. Britain’s economy has shown signs that it is stagnating and confidence among businesses and consumers it expected to take a further hit after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to win a parliamentary majority in last week’s election.