Pubs and restaurants helped non-essential spending see strong growth in March this year, recording uplifts of 15.1% and 12.1% respectively.
Overall non-essential expenditure grew 3.4% year-on-year, with the ‘Beast from the East’ significantly impacting spending last year.
Consumer spending across all markets increased 3.1%.
Confidence in the UK economy has fallen to its lowest level since Barclaycard began tracking this data in 2014, with nearly seven in ten (69%) saying they are not confident in the current environment. Furthermore, almost half of Brits (46%) are worried that their quality of life will decline due to Brexit.
However, many Brits remain committed to spending on non-essentials, with 40% saying that they will always spend on certain nice to haves, with social events, quality food and mini-breaks topping the list.
“In contrast to the extreme weather conditions experienced last year, a milder March resulted in an uplift in spending, with consumers dining out and making the most of the welcome sunshine,” comments Barclaycard director Esme Harwood.
“Despite this, underlying sentiment is cautious. March was characterised by ongoing uncertainty around Brexit, with consumers concerned about an impact on food prices and supplies. In light of this, consumer confidence in the UK economy is the lowest it’s been since we began recording this data.”