January spending in pubs and restaurants propped up overall entertainment spend in January as inflationary pressures led consumers to prioritise essentials.
According to Barclaycard data, consumer spending grew 4.4% in January after a lull in December, with spend on ‘essential' items such as petrol and supermarket items significantly up.
Barclaycard, which processes almost half of the UK's credit and debit card transactions, found that petrol spending was up 15.4% in January 2016, while supermarket spend was up 2.9%, the highest growth in two years.
It put this down to inflationary pressures, which has led to spend on electronics items and flights falling.
However, spend in pubs and bars has held up, growing 15.6% and 14.2% respectively.
In a separate survey of 1,643 consumers Barclaycard found that two-thirds were now more conscious of seeking out value for money. Just over half (54%) were confident in their household finances, down from 67% in January 2016.
Those surveyed also expressed concerns about rising prices, with 36% predicting that they would spend less on meals out and trips to the cinema than this time last year.
Barclaycard managing director Paul Lockstone said: "January's uplift in spending represents a strong start to the year. Big increases in the amount spent at supermarkets and on petrol, coupled with careful spending across a number of non-essential categories, does however suggest that consumers are starting to feel the impact of inflation on their everyday lives.
"A sharp fall in consumer confidence compared with January 2016 and an increase in the proportion going to greater lengths to seek out value is also quite telling. It suggests consumers are having to reshuffle their spending priorities for the year ahead, with our research pointing to cutbacks in discretionary spend on holidays and entertainment."
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