Online sales outperformed those made on the high street in January, new research has revealed.
The survey by Barclaycard shows while online sales saw an 11.4% boost, those through the traditional bricks and mortar saw a fall of 4.3%.
Overall, the figures represented a 3% increase in spend for all agents during the entire month.
The figures are part of a wider report which show overall consumer spending grew by 3.8% in January, which continues the trend of a strong run in growth seen in 2015.
Major purchases proved to be particularly strong with spending in department stores up by 12.6% and furniture shops up by 11.3%.
However, Barclaycard is warning the growth is coming against a backdrop of falling consumer confidence. A total of 42% of Brits expect the global economy to deteriorate within the next three months compared to 22% in December 2015.
Furthermore, three in 10 consumers confirmed they are feeling less confident about the UK’s economy than they were at the beginning of the year with more than two thirds saying the situation has been exacerbated by media coverage.
The falling confidence means those claiming to feel more confident about their personal finances has fallen 10 percentage points to 24% since December while 45% now feel confident in their job security compared to 52% in the same time period.
This is the lowest level it has been at since Barclaycard started its research.
Managing director Paul Lockstone said: “January spending provided a much-needed boost to retail sales, though our data suggests that merchants took a hit as they grappled for market share.
“Consumers took advantage of the steep discounts to buy big-ticket items such as furniture or white goods, and it’ll be interesting to see if February spending is much more muted as a result of this ‘stock-up’ mentality.
“It seems the downbeat news about the economy is taking a toll on consumer sentiment, however, with many shoppers reporting that they are less confident about the economy and, as a result, about their own financial prospects.
“Consumers will continue to place value for money front and centre when making purchasing decisions – they are willing to spend, but on their own terms.”