Hotels and restaurants recorded the strongest increase in consumer spending in September, according to Visa Europe's Expenditure Index.
The credit and debit card company said restaurants and hotels had registered an 8.9% increase in spending compared with 12 months ago - significantly better than August, when it was still up by 5.1%.
The performance compares favourably with other sectors, which appear to be struggling. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco was down 5.9% in September compared with a year ago, with clothing and footwear down 1.2% and transport and communication down 6.1%.
Overall consumer spending was up by 2.5% month-on-month in September, following a weak August, but was down by 0.9% year-on-year.
Commenting on the latest results, Dr Steve Perry, commercial director at Visa Europe, said: "Despite a rise in consumer spending of 2.5% in September, spending throughout the summer months has been variable and therefore unpredictable. Periods of consumer caution were followed by short bursts of spending as September recorded an improvement over August.
"Against this inclement background we have seen online shopping increase at pace, up 8.9% year-on-year in September. Elsewhere at the sector level, certain categories such as hotels and restaurants continue to see spending growth indicating selective discretionary spending."
By Neil Gerrard
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