Romania recorded a “notable rise in spending”, although household spending across the European Union (EU) continued its decrease in the second quarter of 2012 by 2.3 percent, as shown by Visa Europe EU Consumer Barometer.
The document reveals a second year-on-year fall in EU household spending, estimated to have fallen by -2.3 percent compared with 2011, thus representing the sharpest reduction since the third quarter of 2009.
“Consumer spending in the EU’s largest economy, Germany, grew in the second quarter while there was still strong growth recorded across a number of Eastern European states. This was insufficient to offset subdued spending levels across a number of major economies, such as Italy, Spain and the UK and the contraction in spending witnessed in the first quarter across the EU accelerated in Q2,” explained Philip Symes, Chief Financial Officer at Visa Europe.
The data indicates that 14 countries registered year-on-year growth, while 13 of them signaled contraction. Among EU’s top five economies, Germany is the only one where the household consumption rose, up slightly by 0.4 percent. The weakest performances were recorded by Italy , with a drop in spending of 7 percent, together with the UK which saw spending decline by 4.7 percent and France, where household expenditure dropped by 1 per cent during the second quarter of 2012.
In addition, the states associated with the eurozone crisis recorded severe reductions in spending, such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, as well as Slovenia registered double digit growth rates. Rises in spending were also found in Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia and Romania.
The report is based on data for all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards and provides information for EU member states only. Also, according to the same report, 80 percent of consumer spending in Europe is on Visa debit cards.
photo source: sxc.hu