Consumer spending jumped 7.6% in May 2021 as lockdown restrictions were lifted

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Barclaycard has reported that spending on essential items grew 11.4% compared to May 2019 – the sharpest increase since before the onset of the pandemic.

The wet weather in early May was not enough to deter consumers from returning to shops, with overall spending on non-essential items rising 5.8% compared to the same period in 2019, while face-to-face spending at non-essential retailers grew 8%.

Sales in electrical stores, Barclaycard reported, grew 18.7%.

Raheel Ahmed, Barclaycard’s head of consumer products, said: “May was a positive month for a range of categories, with the nation clearly determined to show support for retailers and local businesses. As friends and families reunited after months apart, it is reassuring to see signs of recovery for the entertainment and hospitality industries, both of which have faced significant challenges over the past year.

“While international holidays continue to be hampered by restrictions, staycations in the UK are providing a welcome boost to the travel sector, as May saw more holidaymakers, particularly in the older age groups, book or embark on trips. With summer – and hopefully more of this warmer weather – on the way, we hope to see these positive trends continue as Brits make the most of their newfound freedoms.”

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