The leisure and entertainment sector was particularly strong as UK families took advantage of one of the best summers in recent times. Restaurant, cinema and theatre spend was all up while airline spend growth slowed dramatically, suggesting that the good weather at home saw families resisting the urge to book holidays to the sun.
The weather has helped
“Rising consumer confidence pushed spending growth above 4% in August for the fourth straight month as households continued to shake off the economic downturn," said Val Soranno Keating, Barclaycard Chief Executive. "It’s a trend we’ve seen for most of this year and has helped establish 2013 as the year of recovery.
“The weather has undoubtedly helped. It was confirmed last week that we’ve enjoyed one of the warmest summers on record and the consumer response has been to hit the High Street. Spending on eating out, holidaying in the UK, and doing up the house grew particularly strongly in August. When set alongside the other economic news we’ve seen recently, and with forecasters predicting an above average September weather-wise, we expect this month to be another positive one and for UK PLC to end the third quarter on a high."
August’s strong performance reinforces the view that households are continuing to shake off the economic downturn, a sentiment echoed by recently-published economic data charting a rise in UK consumer confidence.