Prior to the arrival of the latest Covid-19 variant, Brits had made up for lost time with friends and family, with pubs, bars and clubs recording positive growth in the second half of the year, according to the latest research on consumer spending from Barclaycard.
Barclaycard said this was earmarked by a 43.5 % increase in spending in September.
While spending in the hospitality and leisure sector was down 18.5% compared to 2019, it said venues have shown “signs of recovery” since restrictions eased in July.
Jose Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclaycard, said: “2021 was another challenging year, as the pandemic continued to hamper the UK economy. However, categories such as local food retailers, takeaways and digital entertainment continued to do well, thanks to Brits’ demand for convenient, local, and at-home shopping experiences.
“As we look ahead to 2022, the economy will face fresh challenges from rising household bills, inflation, and uncertainty about the new Covid variant. Yet, as we’ve seen over the last two years, consumers and businesses are capable of adapting to and overcoming immense hardship and adversity – the resolve and determination of the British public to succeed is why I’m still optimistic about the year ahead and what it may bring.”