For the second time in three months spend on drinking out grew faster than eating out in May, the latest Greene King tracker shows.

The tracker suggests that both a late finish to the Premier League and the increasing trend towards premiumisation helped boost drinks sales.

Drinking out spend was up 6% year-on-year to £46 - a 3% rise on April, while eating saw growth of 4% year on year to £87 – down 1% in the figure for last month. Spend on other leisure rose 1% to £81 – up 1% year-on-year but down by the same percentage versus the month before. The total leisure spend stood at £214 for May – up 4% year-on-year but flat compared to April.

This month’s tracker also includes a poll of consumers’ holiday intentions, which shows a strong preference for ‘staycations’. A total of 66% of those polled said they intended to go on holiday this year, with 82% of those favouring a trip in the UK. The age group most keen to spend on holidays are the over 55 and, regionally, those based in London and the South East most anticipated taking a holiday.

Households in London and the South East saw stronger growth in total leisure spending year-on-year than those in the rest of Britain in May, with a 5% and 3% increase respectively, to £13 and £5. The tracker describes the figures as “a more typical reflection of the regional trend in economic recovery that has been seen to date”.

Month-on-month, households with children reduced their spend on out of home leisure by 12% (£32) a retraction following April. Conversely, households without children increased spend by 6% (£12) as two bank holidays provided them with more free time than they had in April. Year-on-year, spend remained largely flat among households with children, falling just 1% (£3) while households without kids saw a moderate rise in spending of 6% (£11).

In eating out there was a 3% (£3) month-on-month rise in spend by households without children, while families cut their spend after a spike in April. However, on a year-on year basis, both households with and those without children saw eating out spend grow in May, spend growing 4% (£4) and £5% (4%) respectively.

On the increase in drinking out spend, the tracker says: “Operators are doing well to drive the value of their liquor sales, while seeing a longer term trend of volume decline. To some extent this is being achieved by trading customers up to more premium options, something reflected in a growing ‘connoisseurship’ among consumers and exemplified by a booming interest in craft beer and premium spirits such as gin.

“Year-on-year, a later finish to the Premier League season will have helped drive spend on drinking out, with two more weeks of fixtures in May than last year providing more opportunities to enjoy a drink while watching the game away from home.”

Households in London and South East saw similar year-on-year growth in spend on drinking out to those in the rest of Britain in May, increasing by 7% and 6% respectively.

The tracker also shows six in ten British adults intend to spend money on big ticket items before the end of the year. Those living in family households were most likely to be planning spend on these goods.

Minor home improvements were the most popular area for big ticket spending, with the exception of those aged 18-24. Typically, larger home improvements were around half as popular across respondent types.