The data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, also revealed spending on takeaways and nights out were reined in as spending on fast-food and takeaways (77.9%) as well as bars, pubs, and clubs (39.2%) was lower than March (79.6% and 41.7% respectively).
Barclaycard head of consumer products José Carvalho said: “The impact of rising living costs on consumer spending is starting to show, with a number of categories, including subscriptions, takeaways, and bars, pubs & clubs, seeing less growth than in March as Brits begin to feel the pinch.”
Cutting down on luxuries
Shopping at supermarkets and food and drink specialist stores grew 15.9% and 76% respectively in April compared to the same period three years ago, however, this was still below the uplift in March of 16.9% and 76.9% with more than half (52%) of consumers having cut down on luxuries and the proportion of Brits feeling concerned about the impact of higher household bills remaining at 90% according to the data.
However, despite the challenging economic backdrop, spending on non-essential items grew 18.4% compared to the same period in 2019, a small uplift from last month (17.5%).
Spending on hotels, resorts and accommodation rose 16.6% compared to three years ago, the category’s highest growth since September 2021, while the international travel sector had its best month since before the onset of Covid with travel agents and airlines having seen improvements, declining 3.5% and 9.9% respectively compared to 10.7% and 12.0% last month.
This comes as more than a fifth (21%) of Brits said they were making social or holiday plans for the long weekend in June to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with 16% of this group opting for a staycation in the UK and 17% planning to spend more on special occasions and holidays this summer.
Carvalho added: “The improvements seen by airlines and travel agents are particularly positive, and hopefully point to a recovery in spending on international travel later this year.
“While concerns around rising household bills may continue to hamper spending on non-essential items, the upcoming Platinum Jubilee Weekend and summer months should provide opportunities for Brits to spend on celebrations and make the most of warmer weather.”