UK consumer spending falls sharply in Christmas week

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers hold umbrellas as they walk, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Oxford Street in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer spending on credit and debit cards fell sharply in the week to Dec. 30, which covered the Christmas holiday period, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.

Card spending dropped by 40 percentage points from the previous week to 86% of its average level in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This fall appears broadly consistent with a seasonal effect," the ONS said.

(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)

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