This year is on course to be the weakest in terms of consumer spending for five years, figures for November indicate, but hospitality remains a rare bright spot.
That's according to Visa UK's latest Consumer Spending Index, which found that household expenditure was down 0.9% during the month year-on-year, following a 2.1% year-on-year fall in October.
Nonetheless, hotels, restaurants and bars enjoyed a 4.2% increase in spending in November 2017, making it one of just two categories (the other being miscellaneous goods and services) to see a rise in spending for the month.
"The gap between the performance of e-commerce and the high street widened again last month. Bricks and mortar retailers saw sales down for the seventh consecutive month, while e-commerce continued its upward growth trend, boosted in particular by consumers taking advantage of online promotions around Black Friday.
"It would appear that consumers are making further changes to their shopping priorities as a result of the increasing strain on household budgets. Cutbacks on big-ticket items, such as car purchases and bookings for Christmas trips abroad, led to the largest drop in spending on Transport & Communications in November.
"In contrast, spending on Miscellaneous Goods, which includes trips to hair and beauty salons and cosmetics and jewellery purchases, saw the largest increase, offering further evidence of the 'lipstick effect', whereby people opt for smaller treats while at the same time tightening their belts when it comes to larger purchases."
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