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UK Card Expenditure Statistics: March 2017

Payment card spending in March 2017 was £57.8 billion, up by £335 million (0.6 per cent) on February.

  • Contactless payments amounted to 32 per cent of card purchases, an increase from 15 per cent a year ago, with total contactless spending in March at £4 billion
  • Online spending amounted to £15.3 billion, which at 27 per cent of purchases was a five per cent increase on March 2016
  • Within the retail sector, card spending grew by £179 million in March, to £26.2 billion. The largest increases came from food and drink and mixed business
  • Spending within the service sector grew by £156 million to £34.6 billion, with the financial services sector a strong contributor to growth
  • The debit and credit card share of total national retail sales was 78.4 per cent in March
  • There was a considerable growth in spending at garden centres (up 93 per cent) and on gardening services (up 60 per cent) coinciding with the first month of spring
  • The substantial increase evident at security brokers and dealers (up 85 per cent) was likely to reflect consumers ensuring they have used their ISA allocation for the financial year 2016/17.

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

“Cards are the default way to pay for millions of consumers and this is reflected by the increase in card spending month-on-month. Even with a slowdown in economic growth card spending has continued to remain robust, underlining the role cards play for consumers.”

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