Pubs and restaurants saw a year-on-year spending boost in the last quarter of 2018, rising by six and five percentage points respectively.
A report by Deloitte found that pubs and restaurants outperformed the leisure sector as a whole, which recorded a two percentage point increase.
The rise comes despite overall consumer confidence falling to an 18-month low during the period.
Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, said: “Despite overall confidence falling for the second consecutive quarter, the wider economic picture is currently favourable for consumers. Falling inflation, high employment and rising wage growth has led to greater spending power. Having found themselves in the black, consumers chose to spend the balance on fun experiences, causing an uptick in overall leisure spending.”
Despite a positive year-end, Deloitte’s research found that UK consumers expect to reduce their spending in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.
Oaten added: “Some caution can be detected in consumers’ spending intentions for the first quarter of 2019. Interestingly, however, our research suggests that respondents may reduce spending on holidays, yet a number of travel companies have provided positive trading updates during the first weeks of 2019. While overall uncertainty might make consumers evaluate their spending on big ticket discretionary purchases more carefully, overall demand for holidays seems to be holding up.
“All in all, consumer demand for the leisure sector is likely to remain strong for the time being, particularly if 2019 continues to offer favourable conditions for consumers. This is a sector that continues to appeal to consumers’ enduring passion for creating memories through experiences and having fun.”