Restaurants, pubs and hotels still took the lion’s share of growth in January
The supposed retail bounce-back in January actually provided pretty slim pickings for the sector, with only grocery looking slightly more perky than recently. With domestic consumer spending growth of £1bn compared with January 2019, reaching £88bn, UK consumers were still pretty cautious and in fact total spend grew no faster than in December.
Restaurants, pubs and hotels on the other hand saw an acceleration in growth to 5.7%, taking £0.6bn of the increase in spending, leaving retail with just £0.2bn more than in January 2019. Any increase came from online sales, and with growth back down to just 3.7% after a Black Friday date-shift blip in December, even that star is fading.
On the whole, UK consumers in January looked decidedly “post-stuff” (in terms of cutting spending on non-food) but not post stuffing themselves – with food and drink – both at home and outside it.