New figures fromThe UK Cards Association show that total card spending in February 2017 was £57.2 billion, an increase of £300 million on January, and up from £52.2 billion in February 2016.

Other findings in the report showed:

  • The number of card purchases increased to 1.3 billion, up by 14 million during the month and 11 per cent annually. • Retail card spending totalled £25.8 billion in the month, an increase of £118 million on January.
  • The largest increases in spending came from automotive fuels and food and drink, where spending amounted to £3.0 billion and £9.7 billion respectively.
  • Service sector card spending rose to £31.4 billion in February, up by £145 million in the month. • The largest increase in spending was registered at florists (36 per cent), most likely owing to Valentine’s Day. There was also a notable increase evident at merchants offering recreational services such as tourist attractions (28 per cent), aquariums (26 per cent) and amusement parks (23 per cent).
  •  The debit and credit card share of total retail sales was 77.7 per cent in February.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “The number of card transactions continued to grow at a faster rate than spending in February as people use their cards for smaller purchases. This ongoing trend over the last three years reflects the rising using of contactless cards, as well as people buying lower-value items online.”

More spending statistics can be found here.