Shoppers saving up for luxuries at the expense of essential items

SHOPPERS are splashing out on feel-good buys such as eating out and clothes rather than essential items as the recovery takes hold.

Meanwhile spending on DIY is booming as the housing market continues to climb.

Data from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s debit and credit transactions, found restaurant and clothing sales were up 10.8 and 5.8 per cent respectively in the year to February. DIY sales soared by 11.3 per cent to a two-year high while sales of shoes – often seen as the consumer’s ultimate flight of fancy – were up 8.9 per cent.

Online shopping continued to increase – up 8.6 per cent year-on-year in February compared to no change on the high street.

UK consumer spending was up two per cent – with Londoners leading the charge with a three per cent increase.

However supermarket spending fell 0.8 per cent in the year and petrol sales dropped six per cent.