October consumer spending shows year-on-year rise

15th Nov 2018

Data from Barclaycard has revealed that consumer spending in the entertainment sector – particularly in pubs and restaurants – is on the rise.

The numbers revealed that consumer spending grew 4.4% in October 2018 compared to October 2017, with this modest level of growth chiefly propped up by entertainment spending. 

Customer spending rocketed by 11.7% and 8.6% respectively for pubs and bars in October, compared to the same month in 2017. Ticket sales were also up by 22.1% – helped in part by the enduring popularity of Glastonbury Festival. 

However, the well-documented struggles that the high street has endured this year show no sign of abating, with department store spending falling 5.9%. 

Spending on clothing declined by 2.4%, with a mild October leading to 19% of consumers postponing winter wardrobe purchases. 

Customers ultimately remain cautious with their money. Almost half of those with extra money to spend due to a pay rise are saving or using it to pay off debt, while 36% plan to put it towards Christmas expenditure.

This caution reflects a wider consensus concerning the nation’s economy, with ongoing uncertainty about the impact of Brexit a prevailing factor. 

Only 28% of UK consumers have confidence in the economy – the joint lowest level since Barclaycard started monitoring consumer confidence four years ago. 

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, said: “While the retail sector has continued to face challenges, the experience economy provided a welcome boost to overall spending in October with consumers going for meals out and purchasing tickets to events and shows.

“Ongoing economic and political uncertainty has led to a decline in confidence, with consumers remaining cautious with their spend in the run-up to Christmas.”

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