In August, figures released for Q2 of this year confirmed a slowdown in consumer spending growth to just 0.1% quarter on quarter, from 0.4% in the three months to March and from 0.7% at the end of 2016. Car sales were fingered as the major culprit. Consumers had brought forward vehicle purchases to Q1 to avoid tax increases, resulting in a sharp drop in Q2, after an upsurge in the first three months of the year.