June's heatwave prompted ensured pub and restaurant spend last month was up 13.6% and 11.4%, respectively, despite consumer spending growth slowing to a 15-month low of 2.5%.
That's according to data from Barclaycard, which reveals last month's slowdown dragged overall growth down to 3.5% in Q2 as the rising costs of essentials prompted consumers to row back on luxuries and come to terms with subdued wage growth and creeping inflation.
While April recorded the joint-highest figure (5.5%) since Barclaycard records began, helped by a later Easter, May (2.8%) and June (2.5%) were much more muted as cautious consumers reined in spending, with a 6% rise in supermarkets pushing up essential spending 5.9%.
Barclaycard research reveals the proportion of those confident in the UK economy is now just 33%, a seven-month low, with almost half (46%) saying they are ‘feeling the squeeze' due to rising prices and subdued wage growth, and six in 10 (60%) believe they now get less for the amount of money they spend. Confidence in household finances is holding steady at 69%, however, perhaps reflecting consumers adapting to their diminished spending power.
Encouragingly, more than four in 10 (46%) said they will always find money to spend on areas that are important to them, even if prices rise, with 40% saying they would ring-fence part of their income for social occasions such as going to the pub or for meals out.
Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: "Consumer spending growth slowed for the second month running in June, ending the quarter on a muted note. As shoppers devoted more of their budget to day-to-day essentials, they rowed back on nice-to-haves. While some aspects of the ‘experience economy' remained protected, the cooling down of entertainment growth to single figures shows even this may be vulnerable.
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