Consumer card spending grew 6.2 per cent in June compared to the same period in 2021, with the entertainment, hospitality and international travel sectors all enjoying month-on-month uplifts as Brits enjoyed the early summer weather. However, concern around rising living costs continues, with consumers becoming more selective about their spending and feeling less able to live within means each month.
Data from Barclaycard, reveals that spending on essential items increased 4.4 per cent, largely driven by a surge in fuel spend (24.8 per cent) as petrol and diesel prices continued to climb.
Brits are keen to support the hospitality sector and eat and drink out with friends and family the survey reveals and while spending at restaurants was down -3.3 per cent compared to June 2021, the category saw a small month-on-month uplift (0.8 per cent), as did bars, pubs and clubs (up 0.1 per cent). Takeaways & fast food remain popular too, recording growth of 2.3 per cent month-on-month and 9.4 per cent year-on-year respectively.
Despite uncertainty over potential flight cancellations, travel agents (6.4 per cent), airlines (2.8 per cent) and hotels, resorts and accommodation (3.3 per cent) all saw monthly growth as holidaymakers booked getaways for the summer.
Shopping at supermarkets and specialist food and drink stores saw year-on-year decreases of -0.8 per cent and -1.1 per cent respectively, with almost half of consumers (49 per cent) seeking more value from their weekly shop – an eight point rise on last month (41 per cent).
As household bills continue to mount, spending on utilities jumped 39.6 per cent year-on-year, representing a 5.1 per cent increase month-on-month (34.5 per cent in May) and leading 44 per cent of Brits to cut back on their energy and water consumption to keep costs down.
Spending on non-essential items was up 7.1 per cent year-on-year, although this was a noticeably lower level of growth than seen in May (11.6 per cent) and April (21.2 per cent), continuing the downward trend seen over the last few months.
However, despite widespread budgeting, several categories are performing well month-on-month. The entertainment industry benefitted from blockbuster bookings at the cinema, as Brits flocked to see Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion, resulting in a 5.3 per cent boost compared to May 2022.
José Carvalho, Head of Consumer Products at Barclaycard, said: “The continued rise in fuel, food and energy prices means consumers are having to budget and seek out value where they can for both 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.”
Jasmine Birtles, Financial Expert, said: “Brits are understandably worried about their financial futures and, in particular, their ability to pay ever-rising bills. 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 now rising inflation, so it’s heartening to see that, for the moment at least, people are going out to eat and enjoying cinema shows again.”