Consumer spending boosts UK as Brits get ready for summer

Consumer spending rose 7.6% in May compared to the same period in 2019

The possibility of the UK economy being buoyed by consumer spending received a boost on Tuesday as it was revealed that spending rose by 7.6% in May compared to the same month in 2019.

Brits spent their money on food, drink and clothing as they began socialising more as lockdowns eased further. This is according to a survey released by Barclaycard earlier today.

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The increase in spending is the most substantial since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

Spending on essential goods was supported by an increase in supermarket shopping, up 17.7%, and shopping at local specialist food and drink retailers, including butchers and off-licenses, up by 69.3%.

The patchy weather at the beginning of May did little to deter consumers from going back to the shops, as total spending on non-essential goods jumped by 5.8% compared to the same month two years ago, before the pandemic.

Brits sought to refresh their wardrobes to continue socialising, as there was a rise in clothing sales of 8.5%, in addition to sales at department stores which jumped by 8.6%.

Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products, said: “May was a positive month for a range of categories, with the nation clearly determined to show support for retailers and local businesses. As friends and families reunited after months apart, it is reassuring to see signs of recovery for the entertainment and hospitality industries, both of which have faced significant challenges over the past year.”

“While international holidays continue to be hampered by restrictions, staycations in the UK are providing a welcome boost to the travel sector, as May saw more holidaymakers, particularly in the older age groups, book or embark on trips. With summer – and hopefully more of this warmer weather – on the way, we hope to see these positive trends continue as Brits make the most of their newfound freedoms.”

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