Spending in pubs slows to 7.4%

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Minimal growth: overall consumer spending across the on- and off-trade grew by just 1.2%
Minimal growth: overall consumer spending across the on- and off-trade grew by just 1.2%
Pubs reported “unusually low growth” in consumer spending of 7.4% in February, new data has revealed.

Barclaycard found that overall consumer spending across the on- and off-trade grew by just 1.2% year on year in February, equating to a decline in real terms when adjusting for inflation.

It also showed that essential expenditure rose by 2.3%, propped up by relatively modest growth in supermarkets of 2.5% as petrol spending contracted by 1.2%.

Non-essential spending saw growth of just 0.8%, spending on clothing contracted by 5.2%, while department stores saw another month of decline of 5.5%.

Spending drop

After consecutive months of growth, hotel spending dropped by 3.8%. Restaurants, traditionally a strong category, reported growth of 3.9%.

This drop in spending may be due to consumers re-evaluating their budgets, Barclaycard said. Almost one third (32%) said they were cutting back on non-essential items (such as eating out or buying new clothes), or shopping more often at discount stores in order to make their money go further.

Ongoing economic uncertainty means many customers continue to take a cautious approach to spending.

Half of UK adults (50%) worry Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK economy and cause their personal finances to suffer.

Stockpiling

Some 53% are also concerned a rise in the cost of everyday items over the next month will impact their spending.

Furthermore, almost one in five (18%) Brits have started stockpiling essential food items in case of shortages in the near future.

Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said: “Uncertainty over Brexit appears to be driving a shift in behaviour, with many Brits worrying about price rises and cutting back on non-essential spend, and some even stockpiling everyday items.

“Discretionary expenditure has seen a considerable decline – spending at retailers continues to decrease and even hotels, pubs and restaurants are feeling the impact of cut backs.”

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