The Easter bank holiday weather encouraged people to socialise and eat out at restaurants and pubs in April, with spend increasing 10% and 13.1% respectively.
Non-essential spending overall grew just 1.2%, and overall consumer spend across all categories rose 2.5% year-on-year.
The Brexit delay, along with warmer weather over the Easter weekend, may be contributing factors to a slight increase in consumer confidence, with April seeing a rise to 33% of consumers feeling confident in the UK economy, compared to 26% in March.
More than a quarter (27%) admitted that the sunshine in April had encouraged increased expenditure and 19% said they spent more money than usual on leisure and experiences during Easter. Half (52%) of these opted to eat out.
“Warmer temperatures, especially over the Easter weekend, led many consumers to spend on experiences and dining out,” says Barclaycard director Esme Harwood. “Overall consumer spending in April has remained relatively modest, with the retail sector continuing to struggle.
“While the Brexit delay seems to have brought some short-term relief to consumer confidence, it’s clear that many shoppers still remain cautious about making any big-ticket purchases such as holidays, a new car or investing in home improvements.”