Restaurants and pubs saw slower growth in September as shoppers reined in their discretionary spending on things like eating out.
According to data from Barclaycard, restaurants saw growth of 11.4% and pubs 7.7%, down from 12.4% and 9.2% respectively in August. Last month’s figure was the smallest increase in pub expenditure since March 2015, suggesting the arrival of unpredictable, autumnal weather may have kept Brits away from beer gardens.
Consumer spending remained steady overall, recording growth of 3% – in line with the Q3 average of 3.1% – as Brits balanced budgets to help address subdued wage growth and shore up their finances in anticipation of a potential interest rate hike.
Six in 10 (62%) now feel they get less for their money compared with three months ago – the highest figure since Barclaycard first started asking this question in 2014. More than four in 10 (42%) believe they would have to make spending cutbacks if interest rates rise in the future.
This cautious outlook also appears to have dampened any sense of early festive cheer with many consumers planning a more modest Christmas this year, four in 10 (41%) saying they intend to spend less than they did in 2016.
Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “Rising prices are undoubtedly having an impact on shoppers’ spending priorities, with more of the budget devoted to everyday essentials. As a result, consumers are having to work increasingly hard to stretch their monthly budget and the ‘nice to haves’, such as time at the pub and eating out, have clearly taken a knock.”
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