Consumer spending was up at pubs and restaurants in November, as customers prioritised eating out over shopping on the high street.
Spending was up 11.3% in pubs and 8.3% at restaurants across the country last month, as the retail sector continued to face challenges, with department store and clothing spending contracting by 7.1 and 2.9 per cent respectively.
Consumer spending on the whole grew 3.3% year-on-year last month, dipping to the lowest level of growth since March this year, when the Beast from the East took its toll.
Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, shows that expenditure on essentials rose modestly by 4.0 per cent, bolstered by a rise in petrol spending of 8.9 per cent amidst ongoing fuel price increases.
November’s subdued figures reflect a cautious mood amongst consumers.
Just 52 per cent of UK adults now say that they have confidence in their household finances – the lowest level recorded since Barclaycard began tracking this data in 2015.
What’s more, non-essential expenditure also saw a drop last month to 2.9 per cent growth, the lowest level since March this year. This decrease is also reflected by just 40 per cent of Brits reporting they feel confident in their ability to spend on non-essential items.
Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “November was a mixed month, with department store and clothing spending contracting but entertainment remaining strong.
“This may be unsurprising, given we’ve seen consumer confidence in household finances fall to a record low, likely influenced by ongoing political and economic uncertainty. As the final countdown to Christmas begins, it will be interesting to see whether shoppers will be enticed back to the high street over the next few weeks.”