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Spending catches a big chill

WANING consumer confidence coupled with the beast from the east saw UK spending at its weakest for more than five years.

Household spending in the first three months of 2018 fell by 1.4 per cent year-on-year — the worst performance since the fourth quarter of 2012, Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index found.

High street spending in March was down by three per cent year-on-year. Online spending also fell by 1.2 per cent — the first fall in 10 months. Visa’s Mark Antipof said the cold weather ‘doesn’t entirely explain’ the lacklustre results. ‘We are in the midst of a dip in consumer confidence and this — coupled with other economic factors — is causing shoppers to restrain themselves,’ he said.

Annabel Fiddes, of IHS Markit, which compiles the report, said the outlook remains ‘weak’.

A THIRD of children aged 10 and under have used their parents’ contactless bank cards or phone payment apps — with some as young as two, a poll of 1,000 UK parents by loans firm Progressive Money found.