Consumer spending in UK pubs during the festive period recorded a 11.7% rise, according to the latest Barclaycard data, which accounts for almost half the nation’s credit and debit card transactions
Combined spending on eating and drinking increased 9.7% year-on-year but restaurants suffered a 2.6% decline.
Spending on essentials fell 0.9% year-on-year in December but non-essential spending grew 1.8%. Entertainment spending rose by 5.5% bolstered by a rise in cinema sales of 19.0%.
Digital content and subscription services also continued to enjoy strong growth, rising 14.7%. Consumer spending saw only 1.0% year-on-year growth in December, representing a decline in real terms accounting for inflation. However, following the general election consumers showed renewed confidence in the UK economy, with more than two-fifths (41%) feeling upbeat – up ten percentage points on November and the highest level in 2019. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds (70%) of UK consumers remain upbeat about their household finances.
Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said, “Consumer confidence is finally improving after a long period of political uncertainty. This optimism hasn’t translated into high street sales yet but spending on experiences continues to grow, with Brits enjoying box-office hits and trips to the pub. While consumers remain reluctant to spend on big-ticket items, the mood seems to be changing.”