Britons spent more time at the pub in March, new research shows, as the early Easter bank holiday helped boost spending on leisure activities by 10 per cent over the year.
Greene King’s Leisure Spend Tracker found that the early Easter celebrations helped drive a positive increase and levelled out any uncertainty felt after a busy Christmas period and a rather dreary February.
Eating out saw the largest increase in March, up 18 per cent year-on-year, largely driven by the school holidays and the sunny weather on Good Friday.
Meanwhile, spending on drinking rose by 12 per cent in comparison to last year’s March figures, the pub group said. Spending on other leisure activities such as betting also increased by two per cent, with the excitement of the Cheltenham Festival to thank as people took a punt on the races.
Unsurprisingly, it was those in London and the South East whose Easter tipple earned them an increase of 25 per cent. This is considerably higher than households in the rest of the UK, who had an increase of only six per cent year-on year.
Overall, the average household spent almost £216 on leisure activities March, which was a 19 per cent increase from February.
Despite the washout weather towards the end of the Easter weekend, eating out remained at a record high of £92 in comparison to last year’s figures and remained the leisure activity that households spent the most on. Consumers spent an average £47 on drinking out.
Greene King's group marketing director, Fiona Gunn, said: “Easter falling early this year saw many British households increase their leisure spending across the board, particularly in eating out.
"There was also the excitement of the Cheltenham Festival, which boosted Other Leisure spending, and the fact that the school holidays allowed many families to enjoy some quality time together out of home.”