UK consumers’ leisure spending boomed in the three months to June and is expected to continue rising through the summer.
Business services firm Deloitte reported a “boost” year on year in a majority of spending categories in its Leisure Consumer Q2 report, “driven by record levels of consumer confidence”.
The report, based on a quarterly survey of 3,166 UK adults, suggests overall leisure spending during April to June rose percentage points year on year and was up two points on the previous quarter.
Consumers reported increased leisure spending in nine out of 11 categories, with spending on eating out rising five percentage points on last year.
Spending in pubs and bars rose four percentage points, and on coffee and sandwich shops three percentage points on a year earlier.
The only category to see a fall in spending was short-break holidays – down two percentage points – with the remaining category (spending on live sport events) flat year on year.
Spending on culture and entertainment saw the largest increase on the previous quarter rising five percentage points as consumers enjoyed the sunny weather.
According to Deloitte, the boom “looks set to continue through the summer, driven by warmer weather”.
The survey found consumers expect to increase spending year on year over the summer in ten out of 11 categories.
Deloitte partner for hospitality and leisure Simon Oaten said: “Leisure spending is an important bellwether for the health of the UK economy.
“If consumers are spending on discretionary items, whether that be cappuccinos or holidays, that is a clear sign of confidence in personal disposable income.”
He said: “It has been a challenging first half of the year. The fact that leisure consumers are in good spirits is welcome news. Crucially, habitual categories such as eating out and drinking have seen a spending boost, a sign of easing income pressure and improving confidence.”
Oaten added: “The positive leisure outlook is in contrast with news about the struggling high street and political uncertainty.
“Leisure businesses should feel optimistic about the growing confidence and spending intensions of leisure consumers.
“Significantly, our research revealed consumers are looking to spend across a range of leisure categories.
“This means businesses from across the sector should benefit, whether a holiday operator, café, hotel, theatre or sports venue.”
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