UK Consumer Boom Still Yet to Materialise According to Latest Short-term CHAPS Data

Consumer spending

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Bank of England CHAPS data that shows consumer spending on credit and debit cards was at 95% of its February 2020 average in the week ending May 27, down slightly from the 96% reported in last week's report.

The data therefore continues to underwhelm expectations for a major consumer-led economic boom now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted across the UK.

The numbers come as part of a set of weekly short-term data collated by the ONS in their efforts to understand how the economy and consumer behaviour evolves through the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery.

We reported last week that any disappointments in the scale of the UK's economic recovery could ultimately undermine the positive narrative driving the Pound higher, but we would imagine markets are awaiting the official data.

The Pound has been bid through 2021 as economists ramp up their forecasts for the UK economy, estimating that a huge pile of pent-up savings accumulated during lockdowns will be put to use once restrictions are limited.

But the tepid short-term spending numbers coming through could be sound a warning of caution on the market's ongoing bullish stance on the economy and the Pound.

Next week's set of data will likely be of particular interest given it will cover a period of improvemed weather and the long weekend.

Elsewhere in the ONS short-term data the news is however more constructive.

The seven-day average estimate of seated diners in the week to 31 May was 173% of its level in the same week of 2019, according to Open Table.

This is up 41 percentage points from last week, continuing its rebound since indoor dining reopened across the UK.

The volume of total UK online job adverts on 28 May 2021 was at 127% of its February 2020 average, according to Adzuna.

Job adverts increased across all UK countries and English regions compared with the previous week

UK retail footfall in the week to 29 May 2021 was at 73% of its level in the same week of 2019, according to Springboard.

Footfall as a proportion of its 2019 level remains strongest at retail parks compared with high streets and shopping centres.