Another 'strong' month for restaurants and bars, with expenditure up 4.4% in February

13/03/2018 - 07:00
Visa’s latest UK Consumer Spending Index yesterday (12 March) revealed that hotels, restaurants and bars experienced another “strong” month in February – witnessing the biggest rise in expenditure (+4.4%) of the eight categories monitored.

While consumer spending fell for the nine time in ten months last month (at -1.1% year-on-year), food and drink retailers experienced “broadly stable” expenditure and hotels, restaurants and bars was the “strongest performing sector, seeing expenditure rise solidly on an annual basis.”

In contrast, recreation and culture (-6.1%), household goods (-1.1%), clothing and footwear (-1.6%) and transport and communication (-3.5%) all suffered from lower spending.

Mark Antipof, Visa chief commercial officer, commented: “Britons have been in belt-tightening mode since last summer. February’s cold snap certainly didn’t alleviate this situation, particularly when we shine a spotlight on high street spending, and recreation and culture in particular, which saw its biggest decline since April 2010.

“On the other hand, hotels, restaurants and bars experienced another strong month. The resilience of this sector is somewhat unique, having reported uninterrupted growth since February 2011.

“As we look ahead into March, consumer spending is at risk of posting one of the worst Q1 results on record. Retailers will no doubt be hoping that the milder weather will put a spring in shoppers’s steps.”

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