Consumer spending grew 5.1% in May as shoppers experienced good weather and businesses performed strongly, the highest recorded increase since April 2017.
According to data gathered by Barclaycard, in-store spending increased 2.6% as the good weather drew punters out to the shops during the Early May Bank Holiday.
The data also revealed non-essential expenditure increased 4.6% in a 14-month high, reaching the highest level of growth in more than a year. Barclaycard attributed the success to strong performances of garden centres, clothing and pubs.
The report said women’s clothing rose 2.9% – the first increase in this category since June 2017 – and consumers spending rose dramatically in DIY stores (19.7%) and supermarkets (10.1%) compared with the growth year-on-year in May (7.3% and 5.1%, respectively).
Pub spending also rose to 19% during the long weekend increasing 12.5% overall in May, “returning to levels last seen in January”.
Esme Harwood, director of Barclaycard, said: “Although a degree of caution remains, UK shoppers felt confident enough to let themselves enjoy the sunny weather in May. This brought good news for the high street as Brits updated their wardrobes – with growth on clothes going up by the highest amount in two years – and took to pub gardens to enjoy the blue skies.”