Consumer spending saw its first uplift since February 2020 last month, with pubs, bars and takeaway services all experiencing a boost, according to data from Barclaycard.

The figures from the latest Barclaycard report have revealed that consumer spending grew 0.2% year-on-year in August, its first uplift in six months.

With consumers making the most of the final weeks of summer, facilitated by the Eat Out to Help Out incentive, spend at pubs and bars throughout the month was up 9.3%.

However, the lockdown-induced delivery trend also continued to grow, with takeaways and fast food seeing their highest increase in August (20.7%) since tracking began for the category in September 2019.

Meal subscription services, another area of focus for operators looking to adapt in lockdown, rose by 65.8%.

The hotels, resorts and accommodation sector saw its smallest decline since lockdown began last month, at -19.1% year-on-year (up from -29.9% in July), as consumers booked staycations during the final weeks of the school holidays.

Despite the improvements, the data also found that confidence in the UK economy was at its lowest point since Barclaycard started the index six years ago, at 19% (compared to 42% in January and February 2020).

Confidence in household finances however remained steady, at 68%, potentially due to the fact that 45% of consumers saved money because they were unable to go abroad this summer, with 23% putting money into their savings instead.

“It’s encouraging to see the first uplift in spending after such a turbulent time for retailers,” said Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products at Barclaycard. “It seems the final throws of summer have spurred households to get out and about with clothing stores, pubs and bars welcoming growth for the first time since lockdown began.

“However, despite the high-street showing some signs of recovery, challenging times still lay ahead in certain sectors. Months of lockdown has helped accelerate the trend towards digital, with surges in areas such as online ordering of takeaways and buying groceries online, meaning the road to recovery may still be a long one for bricks-and-mortar stores.

“Retailers may take reassurance from the fact that household confidence remains steady, and of course, the restaurant sector also benefitted from the boost provided by the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme. As this discount comes to an end, and the lure of pub gardens slip away with the sunshine, we will see the resilience of businesses truly tested as we head into autumn.”