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UK Consumer Spending Report

May key insights

Despite May being a slower month for in-home spending categories, it was particularly interesting to see Takeaway and Fast Food spend up 7.7% compared to the same period last year, a clear sign that the takeaway trend is showing no sign of slowing, even as consumers spend more time out of the home.

Barclays UK Consumer Spend Report gives you a unique and up to date picture of the nation’s spending habits based on the actual transactions, bringing it to life so you can take action and shape your strategy.

Our latest report looks at UK Consumer spending patterns to the period 23 April 2022 to 20 May 2022.

The rising cost of living continues to impact consumer spending habits

The rising cost of living continued to be a big theme in May with over two fifths (41.0%) of consumers saying they are looking for ways to get more value from their weekly shop or to reduce the cost of their weekly shop, to adjust for rising living costs.

In light of this, consumers were also cutting back spend in certain categories in order to allow them to continue spending on the things they value the most. Amongst the categories to see a decline in spend in May was Furniture Stores which saw spend down -25.4% versus the same period last year. Whilst this was in part due to increased Furniture demand this time last year when restrictions eased, Furniture Spend was also down -3.1% versus last month, a clear sign that consumers were cutting back.

When compared to the same period last year, Essential card spending grew 4.8%, driven largely by a 24.8% rise in Fuel spending as both Petrol and Diesel hit record levels of £1.80 and £1.70 respectively.

Non-essential card spending saw stronger growth of 11.6% when compared to the same period in 2021. This stronger level of growth can be attributed to increased spending on Overseas Travel as well as the fact indoor Hospitality venues such as Pubs, Restaurants and Cinemas had only just re-opened this time last year.

Brits continue to be impacted by rising energy prices, spending 34.5% more on average on Utilities compared to the same period last year. Almost nine in 10 (88.0%) say they are concerned about rising household and energy bills, while four in 10 (41.0%) are looking for ways to save energy and water at home.

Hospitality and Leisure

Overseas Travel spend continues to rise in a mixed month

Whilst H&L spend was up 67.2% versus the May spend growth per customer same period last year, this large growth was due to venues having only just re-opened in May 2021 and spend being comparatively low last year as a result.

May was in fact a mixed month for businesses across the sector with consumers actually spending less at Restaurants (-5.9%) and Bars, Pubs & Clubs (-1.2%) than they did last month.

On a positive note, Brits spent more on Overseas Travel in May than they did in April, with Spend at Travel Agents and Airlines up 24.2% and 6.6% respectively versus last month.

May was a mixed month for the Hospitality and Leisure sector with Overseas Travel continuing to drive growth, however consumers were cutting back their spend across other parts of the sector. Both ‘Insperiences’ as well as out of home categories such as Restaurants were amongst the categories to see lower levels of spend than last month.

Mike Saul

Head of Hospitality and Leisure, Barclays Corporate Banking

Retail

Online share of spend for Grocery reaches lowest level since March 2020

Following the onset of the pandemic, one of the key Retail consumer trends we observed was the move to online Grocery shopping, in response to the increased risk of catching Covid in Supermarkets and the ease of getting items delivered.

In February 2021, the share of Grocery spend conducted online reached a high of 18.3%, however this month saw the same figure drop to 13.9%, the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 as consumers spend more time out of the home and feel at a lesser degree of risk than they did last year.

Whilst this may be seen as a negative for Grocery businesses who have invested heavily in their online services during the pandemic, this figure still remains above pre-pandemic levels which averaged between 9% and 10%.

It is interesting to see consumers transitioning away from Online Grocery shopping and back to bricks and mortar Grocery stores. However, the convenience of online grocery delivery still remains a draw for many with the online grocery share remaining above pre-pandemic levels.

Karen Johnson

Head of Consumer and Healthcare, Barclays Corporate Banking

Barclays Market and Customer Insights

Barclays Market and Customer Insights unlocks a wealth of customer transaction data and brings it to life so you can take action and shape your strategy.

We can help you keep up-to-date with spending trends, monitor your market position and enhance your understanding of customer behaviour, based on actual customer spending.

Leveraging anonymised data from our 250 million monthly customer transactions in the UK can help you understand who your customers are and how, when, and where they spend.

Contact the Barclays Market and Customer Insights team

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