Rugby fans helped to boost UK spending growth in September with world cup preparations

Caitlin Morrison
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Rugby fans drove up spending across several sectors (Source: Getty)

Spending growth picked back up in September as pubs, off licences, sports shops and supermarkets took in more cash from fans gearing up for the Rugby World Cup.

Spending on the clothing, entertainment and grocery sectors all performed strongly and lifted overall spending growth by 0.7 percentage points compared with the previous month, according to new data from Barclaycard.

The research shows that spending on clothing was up by 8.1 per cent year-on-year, up sharply on the 1.1 per cent growth in August, as well as by 9.9 per cent in sports shops, up from three per cent.

Entertainment spending grew by 12.8 per cent year-on-year, as pub spending increased 11.6 per cent and restaurants 12.6 per cent.

Overall spending for the third quarter of this year was 3.8 per cent, down from 4.5 per cent in the second quarter – its highest in two years. Falling levels of growth in most categories over the penultimate quarter of this year suggest that households have reined back on some of this extra spending in advance of Christmas.

September’s spend may also have been impacted by factors such as the later launch of this year’s iPhone model, the 6s, which caused spending in electronics stores to fall 4.6 per cent on the back of a 2.4 per cent decrease in the number of transactions.

“While the Rugby World Cup helped spend growth recover in Sep­t­ember, it remained below both the level of increase we saw last year and the average level we’ve seen this year,” said Chris Wood, chief operating officer at Barclaycard.

“After a record-breaking second quarter, which saw the highest level of growth in two years, consumers seem to be pausing for breath before the run-up to Christmas begins.”

He added: “Looking ahead to the last quarter, a majority of consumers say they feel positive about their finances and plan to spend more on non-essentials, meaning it could be a good end to the year for many retailers.”

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