Consumer spending jumps 22 per cent as lockdown is lifted providing much-needed economy boost

Consumer spending jumps 22 per cent as lockdown is lifted providing much-needed boost for the economy

  • The economy has been lifted by several lockdown restrictions, new data says  
  • Spending in UK high street shops has risen by 11 per cent compared to last week 
  • The amount of money collected by hit the £210million mark on July 4 and July 5
  • However, data reveals a recovery from the pandemic lockdown is still far off

Reopening high streets, unlocking pubs and giving the green light to holidays abroad has delivered a welcome lift to the economy, according to data prepared for The Mail on Sunday.

Pubs opened last weekend and airlines have stepped up efforts to reinstate flights after the Government relaxed restrictions on families jetting off for summer breaks.

Data from Barclaycard, which tracks spending through merchant card readers, revealed consumer spending has increased 22 per cent so far this month, compared with the same period in June.

New data has revealed that reopening the high street (pictured) has given a boost to the economy along with the reopening of pubs and permission for Britons to go on holiday again

Spending last week alone rose ten per cent compared to the week before as the changes took effect. 

That included an 11 per cent increase in spending at shops, a 14 per cent rise in spending on flights, travel and holidays and a 61 per cent increase in purchases of foreign currency as consumers prepare to splash out on summer breaks. 

The rise is likely to be welcomed as a sign of economic ‘green shoots’. But a recovery from the pandemic lockdown is still far off.

There were signs that parts of the economy are not gaining the same traction as others. Barclaycard data reveals spending on petrol last week fell by 0.5 per cent. 

Spending in shops last week alone rose ten per cent compared to the week before but a recovery from the pandemic lockdown is still far off

 Spending in shops last week alone rose ten per cent compared to the week before but a recovery from the pandemic lockdown is still far off

That suggests workers are not yet travelling back to the office in large numbers, and possibly that drivers remain reluctant to journey long distances after months of being warned against travelling far from home.

Business owners said spending remains significantly down compared with this time last year.

High street sources said even the best performing fashion chains are still about 30 per cent down on last year while the majority of clothing shops are struggling to sell half as much as they did last July. 

Online sales have provided some relief but have not made up for the significant shortfall in shops.

One senior high street executive said: ‘These increases are from a very low base.’

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: ‘We’re not out of the woods yet.’ 

But he added: ‘The good news is that consumers are still comfortable with the idea of shopping face-to-face.’

Spending in UK pubs hit the £210million mark across the July 4 weekend, when the Government allowed all establishments selling alcohol to fully reopen again

Spending in UK pubs hit the £210million mark across the July 4 weekend, when the Government allowed all establishments selling alcohol to fully reopen again

Millions of workers are still being paid under the Government-funded furlough scheme and tens of thousands of job cuts have been announced in recent weeks as firms cut costs and prepare to hunker down and battle through the coming months.

The growth in spending comes on the heels of a 13 per cent increase in spending on cards in June compared with May.

Spending at pubs hit £210 million over the July 4 weekend, an increase of more than 70 per cent on the same weekend a year earlier, according to analysis from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

PwC said consumer confidence had been on an improving trend since March. A fifth of those responding to its June survey said they believe their finances will be ‘better off in the next 12 months’, with just under a third expecting to be worse off. 

The most optimistic are 18-to-24-year-olds, with 45-to-64-year-olds the least optimistic. PwC said disposable income is not ‘a current concern for most consumers’.

%d bloggers like this: