HOUSEHOLD spending fell by 0.3 per cent annually in September, marking the fourth decline in the past five months as consumers continue to show signs of “belt tightening” amid financial uncertainty.

The decline followed a 0.2 per cent increase the previous month, according to Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index.

Internet spending continued to increase – up 2.8 per cent – while spending on the high street fell by 3.2 per cent year-on-year.

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Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa, said: “Despite a slight uptick in UK consumer spending in August, the story of the past few months has been one of wariness in household spending. September saw another decline in overall expenditure, continuing the recent trend of belt tightening, as the landscape of financial uncertainty takes its toll.”

Spending on transport and communication was down 6.4 per cent. On household goods, it was down 2.6 per cent. Recreation and culture recorded its first spending fall in three months, with a 1.3 per cent annual fall.