Consumer spend in restaurants and pubs grew 12.1% and 11% year-on-year in November according to the latest Barclaycard data, a return to levels seen earlier this year after a brief slowdown in the three months to October.
Spending growth in restaurants was 11.8% in October and 11.4% in September, while a 12.4% increase in August contrasted with the single figure of 9.2% for pubs, suggesting that consumers continue to turn to restaurants when looking to spend time with friends and family.
While spend in restaurants appears to be healthy, clothing spend saw a negative of -0.9% and airlines fell out of favour, contracting 2.8% year-on-year following October’s record high of 10.9%.
This suggests the mood of the nation, with only 30% saying that they feel confident in the UK economy, down from 37% at the end of September.
Confidence in household finances has also decreased, falling from 64% in October to 56%.
“Consumer sentiment has deteriorated over the last couple of months after a prolonged period of falling purchasing power,” says Barclaycard managing director Paul Locktstone.
“Against this backdrop, it’s not surprising that consumers continue to spend conservatively, leading to a second successive month of contraction in real terms.
“While entertainment spend brought some welcome relief, growth on essentials outstripped expenditure on nice-to-haves for the third month in a row, indicating that shoppers are prioritising carefully.”