Consumer spending grew 5.1 per cent year-on-year in June, maintaining the high level seen in May as consumers continued to prioritise making the most of the summer’s experiences.
Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, shows that non-essential spending grew 5.5 per cent, its best performance since October 2016.
This was driven by a particularly strong month for entertainment which hit 11.3 per cent, the largest increase since July last year. As consumers demonstrated their continued willingness to spend on experiences, cinema and tickets soared to 20 per cent growth, while restaurants saw an increase of 9.7 per cent.
Boosted by the kick-off of the World Cup, pub expenditure grew 9.5 per cent overall in June – and spending increased 33 per cent on the day of the first England match compared to the same day a week prior. This contributed to entertainment spend rising 10 per cent week-on-week in the first seven days of the football.
Essential spending, meanwhile, settled to a 3.2 per cent increase. Higher prices at the pump led to a strong rise in petrol (9.3 per cent), which made up for supermarket growth dropping to the lowest level for 15 months (0.8 per cent) – albeit against a strong figure from June 2017 (6.0 per cent).
This year’s unseasonably warm weather – which continued with heatwaves at the start and end of June – proved positive for garden centres, which saw a rise of 10.5 per cent last month. What’s more, of the one in three Brits (33 per cent) who have spent more than normal so far this summer, almost three in ten (28 per cent) say it’s because they were planning more activities to make the most of the hot weather.
Overall the sunshine seems to have prompted consumers to become more optimistic as 65 per cent now feel confident in their household finances – the highest proportion in twelve months.