RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK

Warmer weather bolstered consumer spending in March: study

Spending at pubs and restaurants saw double digit growth for the period.

Consumer spending grew 3.1% in March despite low confidence in the UK economy, according to data from Barclaycard.

The multinational credit card and payment services provider also learned that shows that essential expenditure rose modestly by 2.2% in March, boosted by a 4.1% growth in petrol spend whilstsupermarket sales contracted 0.5%.

Non-essential spending, meanwhile, saw year-on-year growth of 3.4%, though the boost could be attributed to figures being heavily impacted by severe weather conditions caused by the ‘Beast from the East’ last year. Pubs and restaurants helped non-essential spending see strong growth this March, recording uplifts of 15.1% and 12.1% respectively, as Brits made the most of the warm weather to relax and dine out.

Confidence in the UK economy has fallen to its lowest level since Barclaycard began tracking the data in 2014, with nearly seven in ten (69%) saying they are not confident in the current political and economic environment.

Brexit is also causing almost half of Brits (46%) to worry that their quality of life will decline. Just over three in ten (31%) are concerned that the rising cost of everyday items will make life harder for them, and 17% are worried about shortages of medicines and other emergency products.

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