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High temperatures change UK consumers’ credit card habits, Halifax says

Soaring temperatures have led to a distinct change in credit card use in the UK, characterized by increased spending on domestically consumed food and decreased spending on travel, high street lender Halifax has reported.

The proportion of credit card spending on food and drink for home consumption rose by over 7% in the space of a week – suggesting that dining al fresco and bringing out the BBQ were the order of the day, the bank concludes. The percentage of transactions made with credit cards for eating-in was similarly up 8%.

Similarly, the amount spent on credit cards on home and garden improvement saw a significant 5% rise in the space of a week However, spending on holidays and travel fell-off by 5% in the third week of July as the temperatures soared and thoughts of far-flung exotic destinations were banished.

Spending on household items (eg. carpets and furniture) using a credit card reduced as a proportion of overall credit card spending by 15%, while the amount spent on clothing was 7% less in the third week of July than in the previous week.

Halifax’s figures compare spending in the week commencing July 15 (which included record temperatures) with the relatively cooler week commencing July 8.