Region at forefront of consumer revival

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YORKSHIRE’S shoppers are playing leading roles in reviving UK consumer spending, according to a new survey.

The study from Barclaycard found that Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands recorded the largest year on year spending growth out of all the UK regions in September.

The growth figure of four per cent places Yorkshire and the East Midlands well ahead of London, which achieved growth of 3.4 per cent. Across the UK, the spending growth figure was just 3.0 per cent.

Val Soranno Keating, the chief executive of Barclaycard, said: “Consumer spending was up again in September, out-pacing inflation for the sixth month in a row. Shoppers are spending more but they remain cautious and we’re seeing them make smart choices to stretch the household budget – using public transport instead of the car, eating out more but spending less each visit, and shopping around supermarkets to take advantage of the best offers.

“There’s been a lot of debate over the scale of the economic recovery and while we’re not quite out of the woods yet, the fact that consumer confidence is at a six-year high, economic growth is up, and spending continues to grow, clearly shows that we’re on the right path.”

According to PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company released last month, Yorkshire saw the biggest increase in store numbers in the UK, boosted by the success of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre and Leeds Arena.

Yorkshire was one of only three regions to show a net increase in shop numbers in the first six months of 2013. A study of 500 town centres across the UK showed that Yorkshire and the Humber saw 244 outlets close in the first half of 2013. During this time there were 265 openings, giving the region a net increase of 21 stores, a vast improvement on the net decrease of 42 for the first six months of 2012.