Consumer spending increased by 3.1% in March

New data published by Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, shows that essential expenditure rose modestly by 2.2 per cent, boosted by a 4.1 per cent growth in petrol spend while supermarket sales contracted 0.5 per cent.

Non-essential spending, meanwhile, saw year-on-year growth of 3.4 per cent. Yet, these figures are particularly buoyant because they are compared with March last year, when spending was heavily impacted by severe weather conditions caused by the ‘Beast from the East’.

Pubs and restaurants helped non-essential spending see strong growth this March, recording uplifts of 15.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent respectively, as Brits made the most of the opportunity to relax and dine out.

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