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Warm weather draws Brits to pubs and restaurants as spending rises

Consumer spending grew by 2.5% year-on-year in April, as milder temperatures encouraged Brits to go out and spend, despite ongoing struggles in the retail sector.

According to data from Barclaycard, spending in pubs and restaurants reached double-digit growth of 13.1% and 10% respectively – as Brits made the most of the sunny bank holiday by relaxing and dining out.

Furthermore, essential expenditure grew by 6.2% in April, bolstered by a strong performance from supermarkets (5.8% growth) and an increase in petrol spending of 4.9%. Non-essential spending overall saw more muted growth of just 1.2%.

Additionally, 27% of Brits admitted the sunshine in April had encouraged increased expenditure. Some 19% of adults also said they spent more money than usual on leisure and experiences during Easter. Some 52% opted to eat out while 48% spent money on day trips with family and friends.

Looking forward, many continue to remain cautious with their money, as 61% expected no change to their spending plans for May. In addition, only one in 10 suggested they were likely to spend on big ticket items due to the delay in Brexit.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “Warmer temperatures, especially over the Easter weekend, led many consumers to spend on experiences and dining out. Overall consumer spending in April has remained relatively modest, with the retail sector continuing to struggle.

“While the Brexit delay seems to have brought some short term relief to consumer confidence, it’s clear that many shoppers still remain cautious about making any big ticket purchases such as holidays, a new car or investing in home improvements.”

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