A reliable source of commentary and leading market data


Subscribe for updates

Sign up to receive notifications of our latest reports and posts.

reuters logo.png

Fear and frustration: Europe's wealthy keep wallets closed

Reuters - 11 September 2020

Card transaction data from analytics firm Fable Data shows UK retail sales rose in August, recovering to just above 2019 levels by the end of the month. Consumers shifted spending from entertainment, leisure and transport towards cars, car maintenance, home improvements and sporting goods.

Link to the article

Reuters image.png
city am.jpg

Richer London boroughs suffer biggest fall in lockdown spending

City A.M. - 11 September 2020

Some of the richer boroughs – where residents have thriving food scenes on their doorstep and more spare cash – did the best from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August, according to card payments and bank transactions tracked by Fable Data. Link to the article

City AM.png

UK economy faces gloomy fourth quarter
Spending slowed even before new restrictions were announced

Financial Times -  23 September 2020

Consumer spending remains the bright spot in the economy, with the latest figures from Fable Data, which tracks spending on cards and bank accounts, showing a 4.8 per cent rise in total spending in the week up to September 13, compared with the same week in 2019.

Link to the article

FT Press image 23Sep20.png

Recovery in UK consumer confidence threatened by rising infections

Financial Times -  25 September 2020

In the week ending September 20, UK consumer spending contracted on an annual basis for the first time. “After six weeks of positive year-on-year spend, UK spend was down 1.32 per cent this week,” said Avinash Srinivasan, equity analyst at Fable Data. Link to the article

FT - September 25-09-2020.png

Fixing test and trace is the only way to avoid economic catastrophe

According to the Fable data, based on 180,000 transactions, spending in Leicester was already 31pc down compared to its pre-virus level, at around £750,000 a day. But while the lockdown cut Covid-19 cases from 20 per 100,000 to fewer than five per 100,000 inhabitants, it did so without any further significant decline in credit card spending compared to Coventry.

Link to the article

Telegraph 28Sep2020.jpg
UK Parliament Logo.png

Economic update: Summer rebound but gloomier winter ahead

House of Commons Library -  29 September 2020


The Telegraph -  28 September 2020


Pubs and restaurants take blame for UK’s Covid spike

Financial Times -  8 October 2020

The latest consumer spending figures from Fable Data, a consultancy which has access to spending on cards across the UK, suggests spending in the hospitality sector remained high in September, after the August boost, but has begun to fall off. The latest figures show pubs had their worst week of takings up to last Sunday since the first week in August. Link to the article

FT Press image 8Oct20.png

There are some indications that the summer momentum began to ease in September. For example, the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index showed growth in business activity slowed in September. This was particularly the case in the services sector. In addition, card and bank payments data collected by Fable Data point to consumer spending slowing over the course of September, following strong increases in July and August.

*The House of Commons Library does not operate as a press outlet, but as an impartial research and information service based in UK Parliament.

Link to the insight


Die Briten zeigen, wie erfolglos die Sperrstunde wirklich ist

Die Welt -  12 October 2020

Translation: The British show how unsuccessful the curfew really is

Kreditkartenumsätze in Pubs lagen seit Mitte August bis Ende September laut Daten des Beratungsunternehmens Fable Data regelmäßig über dem Vorjahr. Seither verzeichnen sie einen deutlichen Abwärtstrend. Die Pub-Ausgaben liegen im zweistelligen Prozentbereich unter den Werten der entsprechenden Wochen 2019. Link to the article

Welt image 12Oct20.png

London restaurant spend topped 2019 before new restrictions

City AM -  21 October 2020

Spending at restaurants, pubs and bars in London climbed above 2019 levels for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic before new restrictions were put in place, data provided exclusively to City A.M has shown. Food and beverage spending was 1.7 per cent higher in September than a year earlier, according to Fable Data, which tracks card payments and bank transactions.

Link to the article

city am.jpg

Drop in UK consumer confidence fuels double-dip recession fears

Financial Times -  23 October 2020

Figures from Fable Data, a company that tracks bank transactions, showed the annual change in spending for pubs and restaurants contracted in the week ending October 18, reversing September’s expansion, despite growth in spending on food deliveries.

Link to the article

FT 2310 Image.jpg

New restrictions less damaging to UK economy than spring lockdown, data show

Financial Times -  16 November 2020

Consumer spending contracted 2.8 per cent in the week ending November 8 compared with the same week last year, down from a 1 per cent expansion in the previous week, but a smaller drop than in March, according to Fable Data.

Link to the article

FT 16Nov20.png

How to contain COVID-19 flare-ups without crushing the economy

Chicago Booth Review -  17 November 2020

As the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread, global policy makers face a multitrillion-dollar question: How can we contain it without a fresh round of broad lockdowns? The researchers combined COVID-19 case reports with spending figures provided by Fable Data.

Link to the article

Chicago Booth Review Logop.png

UK consumer confidence at six-month low as restrictions tighten

Financial Times -  20 November 2020

The figures were released as research from Fable Data, a company that tracks credit card transactions, showed UK consumer spending contracting 8.8 per cent in the week ending November 15 compared to the same period last year, making a sudden reversal of the improvements seen over the summer. 

Link to the article


Consumers rushed out to spend after England lockdown lifted

Financial Times -  17 December 2020

Figures produced by Fable Data, based on card transactions and bank payments, show that consumer expenditure in the UK was up 9.4 per cent in the week ending December 13 compared with the same period a year ago.

Link to the article


Lockdowns fuel fears of double-dip recession in Eurozone 

Financial Times -  17 January 2021

German consumer spending in the second week of January was 25 per cent lower than in the same period last year, according to Fable Data, which tracks bank transactions.

Link to the article


Eurozone heading for double-dip recession as expert fears 'wave of bankruptcies'

Daily Express -  18 January 2021

Germany last week rolled out a series of new measures with infections and deaths growing at a record rates. Consumer spending in the second week of January was down 25 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Fable Data.

Link to the article

Daily Express.jpg

Investment Trends Beyond 2021: Nearshoring of Tech Talent

Forbes -  20 January 2021

 In real demand terms, the consumer transaction data specialist Fable Data reported that in the U.K., spending on electronics ranked among the top three segments in November and December, and in Germany, hardware alongside beer and wine were consistently among the most popular individual purchase areas.

Link to the article


Mapping and addressing COVID-19 regional inequalities using real-time spending data

LSE British Politics and Policy Insights -  28 January 2021

A recent UK government aim is to address such disparities through policies to 'level-up' the regions that historically have experienced less benefits arising from globalisation and national economic growth. This is a particular pertinent issue for the UK, which is among the most geographically unequal developed economies. In our research, we use granular, real-time data on consumer spending to measure the uneven 2020 recession and recovery across UK regions. 

Link to the article

LSE imaging.JPG
LSE logo.png

Growth figures don't tell us what we really need to know about economy

The Telegraph - 9 February 2021 

Of more potential use is research from the likes of University of Nottingham professor John Gathergood and his colleagues using real time credit card spending figures from data firm Fable, giving a more recent picture of where the spending is happening. 

The authors rightly point out that with such surgical data on spending available – the Fable data is available with a one-day lag – the opportunity is there for the Government to offer surgical support with policies such as business rates relief.

Link to the article


UK businesses report strong trade after lockdown reopening

Financial Times - 20 April 2021

In the first three days after the reopening, consumer spending was up 10 per cent compared with the same days of that week in 2019, up from nearly minus 30 per cent in the week ending April 11, according to Fable Data, a company that tracks credit card transactions.

Link to the article

FT April 14 2021.png

First week of indoor service sees spending up on 2019 levels

The Morning Advertiser - 01 June 2021

Spending in UK pubs spiked 28% on 2019 trading levels for the first week of indoor trading. Consumers were keen to get back indoors, transaction data from Fable has revealed, with a 28% growth in spend in the week 17 May to 23 May, compared to the same week in 2019.
Link to the article


UK consumer confidence rises to highest level since first lockdown

Financial Times - 23 April 2021

Spending in the week to April 18 was 5 per cent above the equivalent week in 2019, according to Fable Data, which tracks credit card transactions. The figures covered the period after the reopening of non-essential shops, the hospitality sectors and personal services such as hairdressers and it was the first week this year that spending beat the equivalent week in 2019.

Link to the article

FT 23 April 2021.png

Eurozone shows signs of bouncing back from double-dip recession

Financial Times - 19 May 2021

Meanwhile there are early indications that consumers are becoming more willing to spend. Retail and entertainment centres are receiving more visitors, according to Google Mobility data. German consumer spending in the week ending May 9 was just 3 per cent below the same week in 2019, according to Fable Data, which tracks bank transactions.
Link to the article

FT 19 May 2021.jpg

Economists pinpoint UK local authorities in greatest need of support post-Covid-19 – new research

Mirage News - 23 July 2021

Academics at the University of Nottingham partnered with Experian, Fable Data and Huq to source data from consumer and company credit files, transaction-level data on consumer spending and geolocation. These granular data sources allow the researchers to track, at the local authority level, consumer and business financial distress; measures of how much people travel; and consumer spending.
Link to the article


Rush of customers to UK pubs and restaurants points to economic boost

Financial Times - 25 May 2021

UK consumer spending between Monday and Wednesday last week rose 10 per cent on the levels recorded for the same days in 2019, before the pandemic hit. This was the strongest reading of any week since coronavirus restrictions were put in place in the UK last March, according to figures from Fable Data, which tracks banks transactions.
Link to the article

FT 25.05.png

Rush of customers to UK pubs and restaurants points to economic boost

Financial Times - 03 June 2021

Consumer spending rose 8 per cent in the week ending May 30 compared with the same week in 2019, led by growing demand for transport, entertainment, and pubs and restaurants, according to Fable Data, a company that tracks UK banks transactions.
Link to the article

FT 03.06.png

Eurozone economy edges back towards pre-pandemic norms

Financial Times - 22 June 2021

Consumers in the eurozone are flocking back to bars and restaurants, booking holidays and travelling to work again, according to unofficial data that suggest pre-pandemic patterns of economic activity are re-emerging. In Germany, restaurant bookings and consumer spending are both higher than their levels in June 2019, according to OpenTable and Fable Data, which tracks bank transactions.
Link to the article

FT 22 06 2021.jpg

Nervousness over new Covid wave stalls UK economic recovery

Financial Times - 07 July 2021

Consumers visited and spent less in UK shops, bars and restaurants in June, according to new data, suggesting the economic recovery lost momentum following a rise in Covid-19 infections. Avinash Srinivasan, analyst at Fable Data, said that high street spending in particular “has continued to track lower in recent weeks”.
Link to the article

FT - 07July 2021.jpg