Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, has revealed Consumer card spending grew 11.1 per cent in June compared to the same period in 2019, as the warmer weather, easing of restrictions and major sporting events saw more Brits socialise and set off on staycations.
Non-essential items performed strongly overall, rising 9.4 per cent – the largest growth in non-essential spend since the onset of Covid-19. This was boosted by the eating and drinking category, which grew 36.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, while also representing a strong month-on-month uplift (+2.5 per cent in May 2021). Spending at bars and pubs rose 38.1 per cent – the first growth since September 2020 – as the nation flocked to pubs and beer gardens to enjoy the heatwave in early June and watch key sporting events on the big screens. This trend looks likely to continue, as over two fifths (41 per cent) of Brits say fixtures taking place over the next few weeks, including the Tokyo Olympics, will increase their spending as they socialise with friends and family and enjoy a summer of sporting entertainment.
As more gatherings took place in June, ordering takeaways and fast food remained in high demand, recording a 146.0 per cent surge in online spend, including food delivery apps and services.
Restaurants also showed early signs of recovery, experiencing a relatively low fall in growth (-8.4 per cent) when compared to the 74.4 per cent and 53.2 per cent declines recorded in April and May. This trend looks set to continue over the summer as restrictions ease, with consumer confidence data finding that 22 per cent of Brits upped their spending on meals and drinks out on sunnier days.
Raheel Ahmed, Head of Consumer Products, said: “June saw Brits flock back to pubs, bars and beer gardens to watch the football and tennis on the big screens, as the heatwave early in the month encouraged many of us to get out in the sunshine and socialise.
“The start of the Olympics and the expected easing of restrictions later this month should continue to lift spirits and provide more opportunities for get-togethers, whether that’s a weekend break, a meal out or to celebrate sporting victories. It’s great to see Brits making up for lost time over the past year.”
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