CONSUMER spending fell for the third month in a row in July, marking the biggest period of decline seen since 2013, a report has found.

Spending fell by 0.8 per cent annually in July, following annual declines also recorded in May and June, according to Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index.

It said the figures are further evidence that households are feeling the squeeze from rising prices and stagnant wage growth. The fall in spending in July marked the first time since early 2013 that spending has declined annually for this length of time.

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Transport and communication recorded the biggest annual decline in spending in July, down by 6.1 per cent. This was followed by clothing and footwear, where spending declined by 5.2 per cent year-on-year. Food and drink spending was down by 0.5 per cent annually, while spending on household goods fell by 4 per cent.

Household goods spending has either fallen or stagnated each month since last December, the index said. Bucking the declines, spending on hotels, restaurants and bars jumped by 6 per cent annually in July, while spending on recreation and culture also increased by 1.3 per cent.