Consumer card spending on restaurants and bars, pubs, and clubs saw month-on-month rises of 6.6% and 8.4% respectively in August, according to Barclaycard.

The rise was attributed to the summer holidays and good weather, while hotels, resorts, and accommodation were also boosted by 4.1% month-on-month by summer staycations.

Overall spend grew 4.7% in August compared to the same period in 2021 – though this was the smallest uplift since March 2021 – and declined by 1.9% compared to July 2022, with consumers becoming increasingly selective about discretionary purchases. While spending on non-essential items grew 3.6% year-on-year, this was the lowest growth since February 2021.

Spending on essential items rose as well by 7.2% year-on-year, driven by increasing food prices, while average spend on utilities per customer grew 45.2%, leading to more than nine in 10 consumers feeling concerned about rising household bills.

Thirty-two percent of consumers plan to cut down on discretionary spending further owing to the upcoming energy price increase in October. Sixty percent remain confident in their household finances, down from 66% last month.

Supermarkets; food and drink specialist stores; clothing retailers; department stores; electronics; and pharmacy, health, and beauty stores are among the other categories that saw a decline in August compared to July this year, as confidence in the UK economy declined to its lowest level since August 2020.

José Carvalho, Head of Consumer Products at Barclaycard, said: “The cost-of-living is clearly leading Brits to cut-back on some non-essential purchases to ensure they can afford the increasing costs of their weekly grocery shop and household utility bills.

“Yet, despite these inflationary pressures, consumers have still been keen to enjoy the summer weather by eating and drinking out and going on staycations with friends and family.

“However, an energy price rise on the horizon means the majority are understandably very concerned about whether their finances can stretch far enough to afford rising household bills.

“Many Brits plan to continue cutting back on their discretionary spending during the autumn and winter, while adopting a resourceful approach to saving money in order to weather a challenging period ahead.”