Pubs performed well last month as Brits flocked to pub gardens to make the most of the sunshine.
Consumer spending on pubs increased 19% during the long bank holiday weekend, which led to pub spend hitting 12.5% overall growth in May, returning to levels last seen in January.
This is according to data from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions.
Consumer spending overall grew 5.1% year-on-year in May – the highest level recorded since April 2017 – driven by a strong rise in in-store spending (2.6%).
The experience economy looks poised to hold strong as better weather sets in, with consumers set to adjust their spending for the summer’s sporting and music events.
Nearly a quarter (22%) of Brits intend to spend more on experiences this summer. Of these, more than a third (35%) plan to visit specific events such as festivals, while 20% say major sporting events are likely to draw them to the pub more often than usual.
However, a degree of caution remains. The number of consumers expressing confidence in their household finances has weakened slightly to 57%, down from 62% in April. What’s more, despite inflation falling to a 13-month low in April, fewer than one in 10 consumers (9%) feel they have experienced a positive impact on their spending power.
Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “Although a degree of caution remains, UK shoppers felt confident enough to let themselves enjoy the sunny weather in May. This brought good news for the high street as Brits took to pub gardens to enjoy the blue skies.
“Looking ahead, it seems the experience economy will remain a top priority as consumers plan to treat themselves to major music and sporting events. In the next few months, we expect to see families carefully balancing their budgets to ensure they don’t miss out on their must-see and must-do experiences of the summer.”