The clothing and footwear sector reported a 1.8% decline in May

The clothing and footwear sector reported a 1.8% decline in May

The biggest increase in UK high street spending in just over a year wasn't enough to stem a decline in clothing retail sales in May, figures show.

Expenditure growth was strong across both online and in-store channels, with high street spending registering a 3.2% rise in the last 12 months, according to the latest Visa Europe: UK Expenditure Index data.

Consumer spending rose 2.6% on an annual basis in May, following a 2% rise the month prior. Looking at the last three months collectively, the data signalled the strongest three month average increase in expenditure for more than seven years. This was driven by a combination of merchant discounting, rising real wages and increased confidence in the wider macro-economic environment.

In contrast, however, clothing retailers struggled to reverse the downward trend the industry has been seeing since November 2014.

The clothing and footwear sector reported a 1.8% decline, following on from a 1.7% drop in April.

Nonetheless, Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director for Visa Europe is optimistic: "With more money in their pocket and a spring in their step, consumers look set to continue their spending momentum into the second half of the year."