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Card expenditure statistics July 2014

Gap widens further between debit and credit card spending

  • Great British summer sees spending up on UK tourist attractions as many stay home for holidays

More and more people are choosing their debit card over their credit card, as the latest figures from The UK Cards Association show a widening gap between the two – both in terms of the value of spend and number of transactions.

In July 2014, year-on-year spending on debit cards grew at 8.1 per cent, to £33.5bn, almost double the rate of credit card expenditure, which grew by 4.6 per cent to £13.7 bn. While 766 million purchases were made using a debit card this month, a 9.0 per cent rise from this time last year, compared with 230 million purchases made with a credit card, up 7.5 per cent compared to a year ago.

The latest spending figures also revealed what British consumers have been spending their money on during the summer months. There was a rise in card expenditure of over 20 per cent at tourist attractions and amusement parks between the months of June and July. With the UK enjoying a particularly warm summer, travel was the only service sector that saw a fall in spending, with expenditure down at travel agents and airlines as more people decided to stay at home. Entertainment was up £15m to £3.7bn, as restaurant spending continued to grow strongly.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said:

“As the UK economy continues its slow recovery, spending on cards has continued to grow strongly, reaching a record high of £47.2bn this month. But as people go for their wallet, they’re taking out their debit card much more often than their credit card.

“This summer it looks as though people have been making the most of the warm weather and spent their money here at home, whilst choosing to spend less on travel and holidays abroad.”

Spending by sector

The key movements to note are:

  • Retail spending was up £31m in July, to £23.2bn
  • Services sector spending continues to grow more strongly than retail, going up £171m to £23.9bn
  • Travel spending was the only services sector category that declined when compared with the previous month
  • Entertainment continues to be a strong driver of spending growth in the services sector, up £15m to £3.7bn.
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