Consumer spending in restaurants was up 10.5% year-on-year in January, according to the latest Barclaycard data.
Spend in pubs also saw double digit growth of 12.8%, suggesting that people were turning to social occasions with friends and family to beat the January blues.
Overall consumers spending grew 3.9% year-on-year, driven by price increases that saw a strong uplift on essential expenditure in supermarkets.
While spend has increased, there continues to be concerns about the wider market, with 54% expressing confidence in household finances and 29% feeling confident about the UK economy.
54% also said that rising supermarket prices would force them to cut back on spending.
“January’s uplift in spending represents a strong start to the year,” says Barclaycard managing director Paul Lockstone. “But faltering confidence levels across the board suggests that consumers are feeling the effects of a post-Christmas slump, as well as the wider impact of inflation, on their everyday lives.
“While spending on the ‘experience economy’ proved to be a natural and welcome antidote to the January blues, the dip in sentiment revealed by our consumer confidence data, allied to concerns over economic and political uncertainty, is quite telling. It suggests that caution will continue to be the watchword for many consumers as they allocate their household budgets in the months ahead.”