UK consumer spending weakens over week to Feb. 11: ONS

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FILE PHOTO: People walk along Oxford Street as shops remain closed under Tier 4 restrictions, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, December 26, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – 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.

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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