UK Consumer Spending Report

UK Consumer Spending Report

May key insights

It is clear that consumers are having to spend more on the everyday necessities as inflation continues to squeeze budgets. Nonetheless, it is nice to see that consumers enjoyed the Coronation weekend, with a number of categories in Hospitality & Leisure growing positively this month.

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 for the 22nd April 2023 to 19th May 2023.

Grocery spend sees its highest growth in over two years

Grocery spend is 8.9% higher than this time last year, which is the highest year-on-year spend growth seen in over 2 years. This is driven by food and drink inflation as the latest annual inflation rate was reported to be at 19.1% by the ONS, whilst spend was also boosted by the King’s Coronation bank holiday weekend.

Essential card spending grew by 4.9% in May 2023 when compared to this time last year, up from the 3.6% spend growth seen in April 2023 as food inflation and Coronation Day celebrations drive strong Supermarket growth 9.4%.

Non-Essential card spending grew by 3.0% in May 2023, the lowest growth seen this year as we see reduced growth in the Clothing and Household categories, at -5.1% and -4.2% respectively. However, Bars, Pubs & Clubs had a strong month with 6.4% year-on-year growth, as consumers enjoyed the extra May bank holiday weekend this year.

Fuel spend was -10.7% lower than this time last year, the 3rd consecutive month of reduced growth this year as the cost at the pump continues to decrease, and we compare to a period where prices were higher due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Hospitality and Leisure

Coronation weekend fuels spend at Bars, Pubs & Clubs

Bars, Pubs & Clubs have shown another positive month of growth, as spend increased by 6.4% compared to May last year.

This comes as the King’s Coronation and the extra bank holiday weekend this year encouraged Brits to make more social plans.

The extra bank holiday also fuelled a strong month for Takeaways and Fast Food, which grew by 13.1% this month, the highest year-on-year growth seen so far this year. Nonetheless, it must be noted that the growth comparison is being made to a period where customers were enjoying eating out as Omicron Plan B restrictions were lifted.

Man standing at dispensers

It is great to see that consumers enjoyed their extra day off in May, reflected by the increased spending at Bars, Pubs & Clubs, whilst the rising spend in Travel highlights that consumers are looking forward to the summer holidays.

Mike Saul

Head of Hospitality and Leisure, Barclays Corporate Banking


Spend growth at Supermarkets at its highest since February 2021

Spend growth in Supermarkets is at 9.4% in May 2023, which is the highest year-on-year growth increase seen since February 2021. This comes as food and drink inflation was reported to be at 19.1% last month by the ONS, whilst spend also received a boost from the King’s Coronation bank holiday weekend and Eurovision, due to Brits buying food and drink for street parties and celebrations at home.

Food & Drink Specialists have also shown strong growth this month at 4.0%, compared to the year-on-year growth of just 0.1% seen in April 2023, whilst Discount Stores showed another month of positive year-on-year spend growth at 5.0%.

General Retailers & Catalogues saw a positive month with growth of 4.2% compared to this time last year, whilst the Pharmacy, Health & Beauty category saw its lowest month of growth this year at 4.1%.

A lady holding a paper bag

It is clear to see that food and drink inflation is driving the growth in Supermarket spend, with consumers having to forego spend on discretionary items such as Electronics and Furniture to manage their weekly shop.

Karen Johnson

Head of Retail and Wholesale, 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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