Consumer spending remains relatively flat

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Consumer spending: Barclaycard sees nearly half of the nation's credit and debit card transactions (image: Getty/Luis Alvarez)
Consumer spending: Barclaycard sees nearly half of the nation's credit and debit card transactions (image: Getty/Luis Alvarez)

Related tags Finance Barclaycard Food

Spending in pubs, bars and clubs was relatively flat at 0.1% last month (June) compared to the May, data has found.

However, the research from Barclaycard also revealed restaurants were harder hit at a 3.3% spending drop against June 2021 but month on month, it increased a little (0.8%).

Elsewhere in the hospitality sector, takeaways and fast food remained popular, recording growth of 2.3% month on month and 9.4% year on year respectively.

Furthermore, despite uncertainty about the possibility of flight cancellations and issues at airports, travel agents saw a 6.4% monthly rise, airlines 2.8% and hotels, resorts and accommodation saw 3.3% increase as holidaymakers booked summer getaways.

The findings also revealed overall spending on essential items increased by 4.4%, largely driven by a surge in fuel spend at almost a quarter (24.8%) as diesel and petrol prices continue to rocket.

Consumers having to budget

Barclaycard head of consumer products José Carvalho said: “The continued rise in fuel, food and energy prices means consumers are having to budget and seek out value where they can for essential and non-essential purchases.

 “While this cautionary approach is impacting supermarket and individual basket spend, there are bright spots to be found, with Brits increasing their discretionary spending on entertainment, travel and takeaways as we head into high summer.”

Brits are understandably concerned about their financial futures, particularly their ability to pay ever-rising bills, according to financial expert Jasmine Birtles.

She added: “However, it looks like many have been able to put their concerns aside for a while and enjoy the good weather, with sports items and summer clothes performing well.

“The hospitality and entertainment sectors have had a tough few years with lockdowns and no rising inflation so it’s heartening to see for the moment at least, people are going out to eat and enjoying cinema shows again.”

Negative impact of rising bills

The data also found more of the country (91%) are concerned about the negative impact of rising household bills on their personal finances than last month (88%).

In addition, consumers are also feeling less optimistic about their ability to live within their means (66% this month against 71% in May) and their ability to spend on non-essential items, which was down to 48% from 54%.

Confidence in the future of the UK economy also fell by two percentage points from 27% to 25% from May to now.

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