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UK card spending rises to highest since Christmas

Economic IndicatorsApr 08, 2021 07:30AM ET
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By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) - British households' spending on credit and debit cards rose strongly to 88% of its pre-pandemic average in the week to April 1, its highest since the week before Christmas, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

The figures are not seasonally adjusted, and the ONS said some of the increase was driven by end-of-month spending on households bills and food shopping.

But they add to signs that the economy is beginning to pick up as coronavirus restrictions being to ease following the roll-out of vaccines to more than half of Britain's adult population.

Payment processor Barclaycard said on Wednesday that spending at golf courses jumped five-fold last week after they reopened to the public, and also reported more contactless payments which it linked to people buying picnic supplies.

Construction activity last month recorded its biggest jump since 2014, as businesses restarted mothballed projects in anticipation of shops, pubs and restaurants reopening next week, and recruiters reported the biggest increase in hiring of permanent staff in six years.

This week the International Monetary Fund revived up its growth forecast for Britain this year to 5.3%, but it does not see Britain's economy recovering its pre-crisis size until next year, much slower than the U.S. and Japanese economies.

The Bank of England expects rapid initial growth but has warned that there could be a long overhang of unemployment and underemployment after government support is withdrawn.

The ONS said firms reported that 19% of businesses' staff were on furlough in mid March. This is equivalent to 6 million people and well above levels of 11% in early December, before COVID restrictions were tightened to slow the spread of a more infectious variant of the disease.

Some 75.1% of businesses replying to the ONS survey said that they were currently trading as of April 4, up 1.3 percentage points from the previous two-week period, while 22.2% of firms said they were closed temporarily.

UK card spending rises to highest since Christmas
 

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Comments (2)
Fernando Jacobson
Fernando Jacobson 36 minutes ago
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𝘁𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 $ 10,000 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭. 𝚐𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐝. 𝗎𝗃𝖾𝗃𝗌𝖼𝖺.𝗆𝗅
Cindy Caguana
Cindy Caguana 3 hours ago
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𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚎𝚒𝚟𝚎 $ 10,000. 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎'𝚜 𝚑𝚘𝚠: 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚏𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚝𝚘 $ 10,000 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚏𝚒𝚝. 𝚐𝚞𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚎𝚍. 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚏𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚙𝚊𝚝𝚑 𝚝𝚘 𝚊 𝚐𝚞𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚎𝚍 $ 10,000 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚏𝚒𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗'𝚝 𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚒𝚝. 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎'𝚜 𝚑𝚘𝚠: 𝚑𝚒 𝚕𝚎𝚝 𝚖𝚎 𝚊𝚜𝚔 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊 𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗. 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚘 𝚒𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚎? 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 "𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚔𝚢" 𝚘𝚙𝚙𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚞𝚗𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚞𝚕𝚝 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚋𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚏𝚒𝚝𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎? 𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚌𝚔 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝗺𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗷𝗮.𝗰𝗳
 
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