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Scorching summer and beer gardens boost North East economy

The North East economy has been boosted by the recent good weather, a report by Barclaycard has found.

Austerity has been thrown out the window, as spending in High Street stores and in pubs has soared, with the latter experiencing a 10.8% growth in July.

Barclaycard’s monthly analysis of UK spending attribute this to the ‘feel-good-factor’ after a summer of sporting success, hot weather and the Royal birth.

The prolonged heat wave is encouraging consumers back out onto the high street, pushing up spending in stores to its highest rate in 18 months; online spend slowed to single digits in the same period.

Total consumer spending in the North East is up 4.2% in July from this time last year.

Kath Myers, Barclays Retail Network regional director for the North East said: “The North East economic recovery truly gained pace in July when consumer spending exceeded the rate of inflation for three months in a row, showing that the long-awaited consumer-led recovery has arrived.”

“It’s an undeniable vote of confidence in the future by North East shoppers and shows that they’re finally shaking off the longest period of austerity in a generation and are more readily parting with their money.”

“Whilst spending was inevitably boosted by a July ‘feel-good factor’, there are good reasons to believe that this trend will continue into the second half of the year, with consumer spend staying strong and retailers reaping the benefits.”

Spending on groceries, petrol and clothing is at the highest level this year as Brits enjoyed more outdoor activities with the arrival of summer.

North East-based retail consultant Graham Soult, from CannyInsights.com, added: “These positive figures reinforce the good news on consumer spending that we saw in last week’s numbers from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. After a turbulent few years for the high street, retailers will be relieved that consumers are seemingly starting to spend again.

“Even with online shopping seeing slower growth than before, we mustn’t forget that ecommerce sales in July still increased at twice the rate of those in physical stores.”

“However, high-street retailers who offer the right product and experience at the right price are well placed to prosper as the mood among consumers improves, and retailers will certainly be hoping that the positive headlines continue in the crucial run-up to Christmas.”

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