Britons spent 4.5% more this August compared with the same month last year, maintaining the strong levels seen over the summer as a whole, according to the latest data from Barclaycard. However, garden centre businesses only saw a 0.5% growth in stark contrast to double digit growth seen in earlier months.
Essential spending increased by 6.9% year-on-year with a rise in supermarket expenditure of 5%. 'Non-essential' expenditure also saw an increase, growing by 3.4%, “indicating that customers are balancing their budgets to cover the necessities while allowing for some dicretionary spending.”
Having spent more than usual over the summer, 34% of consumers now say they are planning to reduce expenditure. Of these, 44% say they'll be cutting back on treats.
According to Barclaycard, “a degree of uncertainty about the future is also likely to be driving this caution.” Nearly 58% of Brits are worried that rising inflation will leave them with less money to spend each month, while a similar proportion (56%) are concerned that rising energy prices will leave them worse off.
Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said: “Brits have been feeling confident enough in their spending power to enjoy summer events and evenings out. However, it's clear they've struck a balance between spending on essentials and treating themselves.
“Looking ahead, it appears that many consumers are planning to tighten their belts and keep a closer eye on their finances after spending more than usual over summer.”