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Black Friday failed to raise UK consumer Christmas spending as clothing sales dip in December – report

The debut success of Black Friday shopping to the UK did not deliver a rise in consumers’ total Holiday spending, according to new data from Visa Europe. Its latest figures also show spending on clothing and footwear fell 2.2% year-on-year in December.

Instead of being a major boost to Holiday spending, deep discounts offered on November 28 drove shoppers to spend earlier, but not by any greater amount over the festive period.

Visa’s UK Expenditure Index showed that while overall spending increased 2.1% year-on-year in November, outlay in December rose just 1% on-year.

Spending, meanwhile, rose 1.7 month-on-month in November, but fell 2.8% on-month in December, according to Visa.

Visa UK & Ireland managing director Kevin Jenkins said: “The impact of Black Friday in shifting forward Christmas spending is evident.

“This meant that December saw a modest year-on-year rise compared to November… though evidence does suggest that there was a late spending surge in the days just before and after Christmas.”

December spending in the hotel, restaurant and bar sector, meanwhile, jumped 7.2% on-year while recreation and culture spending was down 3.1%.

Visa’s findings back up research from rival Barclaycard, which revealed a similar shift in spending. It said that while spending on Black Friday was up 18% on-year, the overall increase in consumer outlay for the Christmas period was up 4.1%, in line with previous months.

Paul Smith, a senior economist at Markit, told The Daily Telegraph: “The latest data perfectly encapsulate the retail phenomenon created by Black Friday… [Yet] the annual figures paint a picture of ongoing year-on-year growth and a successful trading festive period.”

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