Pub spending up despite lack of consumer confidence

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Summer spending: Brits spent more at pubs in August 2019 than last year despite wider economic anxiety
Summer spending: Brits spent more at pubs in August 2019 than last year despite wider economic anxiety

Related tags: Pubs

Spending in pubs grew by 10.9% year on year in August, bucking a wider trend of subdued consumer spending this summer.

Overall, consumer spending grew by just 1.3% last month owing to economic uncertainty, according to Barclaycard data – compared to last year’s growth of 4.5% year on year.

However, Brits made the most of the warm weather and flooded to pubs despite worries over stockpiling everyday items and rising prices.

Almost one in five said they had stockpiled everyday items in case of future shortages, with this figure rising to a quarter of 18 to 34-year-olds.

Just under a third (31%) of those surveyed said they were confident in the UK economy while over half (52%) reported worrying about the impact of rising prices over the next month.

Subdued summer

Pubs enjoyed more success than restaurants, which also saw strong growth at 8.6% in the month.

Barclaycard director Esme Harwood noted that pubs had done particularly well despite a broader backdrop of anxiety.

She said: “August’s figures signal the end of a fairly subdued summer for consumer spending – showing a marked contrast to the previous August.

“A weak pound and worries about rising prices are causing concern for many, with Brits looking to better balance their household budgets.

“That said, spending at pubs and restaurants remains robust, suggesting Brits have been making the most of the longer days by relaxing and dining out.”

Hospitality businesses, on the whole, enjoyed a good summer, according to an analysis of more than 100 hospitality businesses by software company S4Labour from Catton Hospitality.

Sales of both food and drink were up 6.1% in August 2019 compared to August 2018, following on from a 5.4% uplift in like-for-like sales in July. 

Drinks-focused businesses saw overall rise in sales of 9.6%, made up of 11.1% growth in drinks sales and supported by 3.5% rise in food sales. 

The analysis also pointed to success from drinks sales for dry-led sites, with food-led pubs delivering a 2.8% increase in like-for-like sales compared to August 2018. 

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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