Consumer Spending Rises 5.1% As World Cup Fever Takes Hold

FootballFansConsumer 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, 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.

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.

In fact, shoppers are looking to harness this spending power and take positive action to strengthen their local communities. Following the recent news of store closures across the country, 42 per cent of Brits say they want to do something to support their high street. One in five (21 per cent) will try to visit more independent shops to back local businesses and a similar proportion (19 per cent) plan to buy items in-store rather than online.

Looking ahead, however, Brits remain somewhat cautious with four in ten (42 per cent) stating they will hold off on buying big-ticket items until the economy seems more settled.

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, said:

“Consumer spending maintained its strong growth in June for the second month in a row. As the warm weather continues and World Cup fever sets in, it’s clear many households are prioritising fun in the sun while making the most of the summer’s best experiences.

“While some lingering caution remains, confidence in household finances is at a 12-month high. This may be good news for retailers, especially as many shoppers are keen to use their spending power to help their local high street.”