Slight sales uptick in April

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Paying out: overall consumer spending grew by 4.3% in April, according to Barclays (image: Getty/mihailomilovanovic)
Paying out: overall consumer spending grew by 4.3% in April, according to Barclays (image: Getty/mihailomilovanovic)

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Pubs, bars and clubs saw a rise of 3.7% in consumer card spending for the month of April, new data has revealed.

The arrival of spring and the Easter bank holiday weekend fuelled the growth in the on-trade, according to Barclays’ latest research.

However, restaurants saw a steeper drop (down 7.6%) than in March (a 5.6% decrease) while spending on entertainment enjoyed a rise of 12% year on year.

This was largely driven by ticket sales for concerts and shows including the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool as well as families looking for more ways to entertain their children during the half term holiday.

Essential spend reduction

Barclays director Esme Harwood said: “The arrival of slightly warmer weather, along with the Easter bank holiday weekend led to more Brits venturing outside to enjoy social and leisure activities in April.

“Entertainment received a boost as music fans rushed to book tickets to the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.

“Meanwhile, Brits are still searching for ways to reduce spend on essentials so they can enjoy experiences such as holidays, shows and concerts.”

High inflation has continued to squeeze disposable incomes and constrain consumption, according to Barclays UK economic Abbas Khan.

Consumer confidence improvement

He added: “However, this has been somewhat offset by the decline in wholesale energy prices and the price cap on household energy bills, which are contributing to an improvement in consumer confidence.

“The data suggests pockets of the economy, particularly the leisure sector, enjoyed some renewed momentum in April.

“Going forward, while energy bills are set to fall from Q3, higher mortgage rates cloud the outlook as households continue to refinance at significantly higher rates through the year.”

Furthermore, the report revealed consumers were feeling more confident in their household finances and ability to spend on non-essential items (67% and 56% respectively) compared to last month (59% and 48% respectively) with optimism in the future of the UK economy also having risen by 25% - up two percentage points from March.

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