Restaurants and pubs continued to outshine other sectors in March as consumer spending was battered by the Beast from the East.
Year-on-year growth in spend for restaurants and pubs increased by 7.2% and 7.7% respectively according to data published by Barclaycard, while general consumer spending growth for the month peaked at 2.0%.
But while spending remained strong, restaurants and pubs were not immune to the impact of the adverse weather conditions, with both seeing a drop in the rate of growth from 9.7% and 7.7% in February.
Nearly half of consumers (45%) said that the cold weather led them to rein in on leisure and experience spending, reported Barclaycard.
Consumers also said they feel worse off financially than they did last year, with 33% less confident in their ability to save money for a rainy day. A quarter (25%) said the same about covering the cost of a night out.
Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “The Beast from the East took its toll on the high street in March, keeping shoppers at home and leading to a slowdown in consumer spending. Despite the dip in growth last month, however, expenditure was broadly stable in the first quarter.
“It seems consumers have become accustomed to adjusting their budget and as a result, are more confident in their own finances. While there are bright spots, however, it’s important to note that a sense of caution still remains, with many of us hesitant to change our spending patterns no matter what the next few months may bring.”