​UK consumer spending growth slowest for six years

rainy shopping street

The UK consumer spending growth rate will be at its slowest in six years during 2019, ratcheting up pressure on retailers.

Spending will rise 1.6% over the year according to the EY ITEM Club, which said that consumer spending had benefitted from an uptick in real earnings and employment growth during the second half of 2018 and early 2019, both of which now appear weaker.

“The improvement in purchasing power has meant that consumers have been significantly less affected in their spending decisions than businesses by uncertainties over the economy and Brexit,” said chief economic adviser to the forecaster Howard Archer.

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