Barclaycard’s monthly consumer spending data – the latest release runs from the tail end of February to March 27 – has the feeling of a gathering storm about it.

The month or so under consideration covers the run-up to the tight lockdown the country is currently under. Even then the impact on spending patterns was immense. There has never been a month like this one. That being the case, goodness knows what April is going to look like.

Overall spending through bank’s credit and debit cards, which account for just under half of card-based consumer spending in the UK, was down by 6 per cent with some notably deep troughs such as travel, including public transport (40.5 per cent decline), and restaurants and bars (35.5 per cent lower). Purchases deemed “non essential” generally fell by more than 12 per cent.