LONDON — Spending by Chinese travelers fell for the seventh consecutive month in September, according to the latest figures from Global Blue, analyzed by Barclays.
Tax-free spending by Chinese tourists was down 16 percent in organic terms, following a 15 percent decline in August and a 26 percent drop in July.
Chinese spending in the Asia-Pacific region fell 15 percent in September, after retreating 21 percent in August and 9 percent in July. In Europe, their spend was down 16 percent versus 13 percent in August and 33 percent in July.
Barclays said it believes the Chinese government’s recent crackdown measures on daigou — professional shoppers who source foreign goods ranging from baby milk to Ugg boots to luxury handbags for Chinese clients — are putting further pressure on Chinese consumer travel and spending abroad.
Barclays added that fears of terrorist attacks and biometric visa changes in Europe continue to dampen Chinese citizens’ desire to travel.
Overall, Global Blue tax-free spending in the month of September fell 5 percent, similar to the August figure, although the data excludes Japan, which Barclays said was unavailable at the time of publication, and which had been a significant drag in August, declining 36 percent.
Spending in Asia-Pacific region improved to minus 7 percent from minus 17 percent in August, while spending in Europe was down 4 percent from an almost flat August.
Within Europe, France saw a decline of 23 percent, compared with August’s 20 percent; Germany was down 21 percent, compared with August’s minus 13 percent, and Italy fell 8 percent, compared with minus 11 percent in August. Switzerland was down 2 percent, versus 17 percent growth in August.
In the U.K. growth at constant foreign exchange was 32 percent in September, after 36 percent in August, reflecting the influx of tourists on the back of a weaker pound, Barclays said.
Foreign shoppers have been picking clean British luxury and high-street boutiques as the pound has plummeted 21 percent against the dollar since the Brexit referendum, and approximately 18 percent against the euro.
Within Asia-Pacific, tax-free sales in Singapore were down 7 percent compared with minus 8 percent in August, while those in Korea fell 9 percent after 31 percent growth in August, which was a bumper month due to easier comparatives from the MERS outbreak last summer.