Consumer card spending grew 3.9% year-on-year in November, slightly higher than October’s 3.5% but well below the 9.6% rise in consumer price inflation, according to data from Barclaycard.

Major sporting events across rugby, cricket, and Formula 1, along with the start of festive gatherings, led to increased hospitality spend. Bars, pubs, and clubs saw year-on-year growth of 4.1% in November, compared to 1.7% in October.

Due to colder weather, some ‘insperience’ categories had another strong month, with takeaways and fast food growing 13%, higher than 11.7% in October.

Spending on non-essential items grew 2.3% overall, driven downwards by the decline in discretionary spend on other categories such as clothing and retail. One in two Brits plan to cut down on Christmas spending this year, with 45% scaling back on festive parties and socialising.

Spending on essential items grew 7.1%, an increase on last month’s growth of 5.7%. This was largely driven by supermarket spending, which had its fastest growth (6.5%) since February 2021 as food prices continues to surge and Brits stocked up early for Christmas to spread the cost.

Food and drink specialist stores also saw their highest rise (1.1%) since December 2021, while utilities saw higher growth (40.1%) than in October due to colder weather.

As a result, 94% of Brits expressed concern about the impact of rising household bills on their personal finances. Sixty-eight percent said they are finding ways to save energy use, by wearing extra layers, buying air fryers, and making meals that require less or no oven cooking.

However, optimism in the UK economy grew to 18% - up from 15% in October – perhaps in response to the Autumn Statement.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “As inflation and energy bills rise, Brits feel increasingly concerned about their already- squeezed personal finances. Cut-backs are affecting non-essential spending on clothing, department stores and restaurants. Many Brits intend to reduce festive spending on presents and parties in an effort to save money.

“Bars, pubs & clubs are bucking the trend – they enjoyed a strong early November thanks to the rugby, cricket and Formula 1. There’s a good chance this growth will continue as football fans gather to watch the later stages of the World Cup.”