August consumer spending rose 15.4%, Barclaycard reveals

Consumer card spending rose 15.4% in August, compared with the same period in 2019, with growth recorded across all sectors apart from international travel, according to new data from Barclaycard.

For the hospitality and leisure sector, restaurant spending broke into positive growth for the first time since the pandemic hit (0.1%), while spending on pubs, bars and clubs reached 43.4%, the highest growth recorded for over 17 months.

Staycations remained popular throughout August as spending on hotels, resorts and accommodation grew for the third consecutive month by 17.5%, compared with 2019, reaching its highest growth recorded since the onset of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, international travel continued to head in the right direction, with travel agents seeing less of a decline than in July, as the vaccine roll-out continues and more destinations open up to British holidaymakers.

In addition, confidence in the UK economy rose to its highest point (37%) since February 2020 (42%), with 785 of Brits “confident” in their ability to live within their means each month, and 71% feeling “optimistic” about their household finances.

Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products, said: “Socialising, shopping, and staycations were top of the agenda for Brits in August, as families and friends made the most of the school holidays, giving a welcome boost to hospitality and leisure businesses.

“Over the coming months, these sectors should also benefit from Brits returning to the office, as colleagues enjoy long overdue catch-ups over post-work meals and drinks.”

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