Hospitality saw a boost to spend in December 2022, thanks to the combination of Christmas parties, and the FIFA World Cup, according to the latest monthly credit and debit card data from Barclays.

Pubs, bars and clubs saw card spend up 12.6% in December – the biggest uplift since May 2022, despite the impact of the rail strikes.

Restaurant spend remained in decline, compared to 2021, at -3.9%, but had noticeable improved on November’s figure of -10.3%.

Spend on takeaways and fast food also rose over the month, up 12.4%.

Overall, hospitality saw spend growth of 10.3%, with transaction growth up 5.1%.

“The retail, travel and hospitality sectors all saw noticeable growth in December. Sports and outdoor retailers saw their largest increase since March 2022 as many Brits sought to get a head start on their January health kick. Meanwhile, pubs, bars & clubs benefited from Christmas parties and football fans watching the World Cup,” Esme Harwood, director at Barclays, said

“However, it’s worth noting that these figures look more positive in comparison to December 2021, as the spread of Omicron kept Brits away from high streets and hospitality venues.”

Overall, consumer spending grew by 4.4% year-on-year in December, slightly up on November’s figure of +3.9% but well below the 9.3% rise in consumer price inflation.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Brits reporting concerns about rising food prices remains high at 91%, and almost two thirds (65%) said they had been looking for ways to reduce the cost of their weekly shop – a marginal reduction compared to November (69%).