Consumer spending in Hotels, Restaurants and Bars increased by 2.5% in July, according to Visa’s latest UK Consumer Spending Index.

Compiled by IHS Markit, the data illustrated the boost seen by many eating and drinking out operators thanks to the World Cup and warmer weather, however the increase was less than the +5.4% seen in June.

Spend on Food, Beverage and Tobacco, increased by 3.5%, while Recreation and Culture saw a further decline in spend, down 3.9%, on the back of a 2.3% dip the previous month.

Overall consumer spending was down 0.9% compared to July last year – but on the back of two successive increases in the previous months’ data.

Face-to-face expenditure was down 1.2%, while eCommerce was down 0.5%.

Mark Antipof, chief commercial officer at Visa, said: “Food and drink, followed by hotels, bars and restaurants, saw the highest spending increases of all categories in July, which the warm weather and football clearly contributed to.

However, retailers of household goods and those operating within recreation and culture noted significant declines, an indication that household budgets are stretched.”

Annabel Fiddes, principal economist at IHS Markit, added: “Expenditure trends have been relatively subdued in 2018 so far, which can be linked in part to disappointing growth in real earnings despite a tight labour market, while the recent interest rate hike by the Bank of England is likely to add further pressure on households’ budgets.

“Combined with anxieties around the ongoing Brexit negotiations and lower consumer confidence, it seems unlikely that expenditure trends will improve in the near-term.”

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