New data shows Christmas spending is ‘lagging behind’ as shoppers save their spending until the final week before Christmas.
Although internet spending remained strong, up 2.3% on the previous year, spending on the High Street last week was down 2.9% on the year.
These are the latest findings of Visa Europe’s Weekly Christmas Spending Tracker, for the week of the 10to 16of December.
It is not all bad news as the latest data showed that spending was up 1.7% on the previous week, demonstrating the incremental increase in spending ahead of the big day.
The Visa Weekly Christmas Spending Tracker uses adjusted Visa Europe card transaction data to provide a robust indicator of total consumer expenditure across all payment methods.
Spending on food and drink was up 12.4% on the previous week, as people began to stock up for the festive season.
Although spending on clothing and footwear slowed, it still remained in positive territory, up 0.4% on the previous week.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Steve Perry, Commercial Director at Visa Europe, said:
“With a week to go before the big day, it appears that shoppers are holding off their spending sprees until the weekend when we anticipate that Saturday 22nd December will be the busiest shopping day of the year, with consumers set to spend £1.26bn on their Visa cards alone.
“Competition for consumer spending is fierce with growing numbers of consumers still visiting online retailers to snap up bargains ahead of anticipated discounting on the High Street in the final furlong before Christmas.”
Visa expects to process 31.9m transactions on Saturday with the hour between 14.00 and 15.00 set to be the busiest hour of the year.