UK consumer spending softens while job ads fall

Bank debit and credit cards. UK consumer spending fell
UK consumer spending: There were falls in staple spending, social spending, and delayable spending, however, work-related spending increased. Photo: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach (Kai Pfaffenbach / reuters)

UK consumer spending on credit and debit cards fell slightly over the past week, new data has shown, while the number of job adverts also declined.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), credit and debit card spending decreased to 100% of its February 2020 average in the week to 16 June 2022.

It was a fall of two percentage points, with all categories, except one, lower than the previous week.

There were falls in staple spending, social spending, and delayable spending, however, work-related spending (which includes spending on road fuel) increased, as petrol and diesel prices continue to climb to new record highs.

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Petrol and diesel prices hit new records on Wednesday, despite a drop in wholesale petrol prices last week.

Data from RAC Fuel Watch revealed that the average price of petrol rose half a penny to 189.84p, while diesel jumped almost a penny to 198p a litre.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It seems as though we are just days away from the frightening prospect of the price of diesel averaging £2 a litre across the UK taking the cost of a full tank to a staggering £110. For drivers who still think in gallons this would be £9 a gallon.

“We’re surprised and disappointed to see the price of unleaded continuing to rise as the cost on the wholesale market tells a very different story."

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It came as the number of jobs advertised by recruiter Adzuna fell by 5% in the week to 17 June to 123% of its pre-pandemic average.

This was with decreases across all English regions and UK countries. The categories with the largest decreases in the week were IT, computing and software (14%), and wholesale and retail (13%).

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The ONS also said that a fifth of companies reported that their turnover decreased last month compared with April, while 14% reported a rise in turnover.

And over a third said that record energy prices had affected production, suppliers or both.

Of businesses not permanently stopped trading, 35% reported their production, suppliers or both had been affected by energy prices in mid-June 2022.

This is a slight increase from 33% in the second half of May 2022.

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