UK consumer spending weakens over week to Feb. 11

British consumer spending fell over the past week and the proportion of people on furlough and who are working exclusively from home increased, as the country remained in a coronavirus lockdown, official figures showed on Thursday.

Debit and credit card spending – as measured by Bank of England CHAPS payment data – was 28% below its level in February 2020 during the week to Feb. 11, representing a greater shortfall than the 24% shortfall reported the week before.

Businesses said 20% of their staff were on furlough between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7, up from 18% two weeks earlier but below the peak of 30% recorded in June during the first lockdown, the Office for National Statistics said.