Cash strapped Brits have cut back on grocery shopping and dining out last month, but spent more on streaming services services Netflix.
Consumer card spending grew just 4.0 per cent year-on-year in March, less than half of the latest inflation rate of 9.2 per cent, as the cost of living crisis drives consumers to cut back on their spending, figures from Barcaly’s latest consumer spending report show.
However, spending on digital content and subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky and Disney+ was up 4.1 per cent – its highest year-on-year rise in five months – likely driven by the latest season premieres of popular shows such as Succession, Ted Lasso and The Mandalorian.
Spending on groceries increased 7.1 per cent, well below the latest Office for National Statistics food price inflation rate of 18.2 per cent, as 88 per cent of shoppers say they were concerned about rising food prices and 62 per cent reported finding ways to reduce the cost of their weekly shop,
More than half of those seeking savings (53 per cent) said they were cutting down on luxuries or one-off treats for themselves while 38% said they were planning meals in advance to avoid wasting food or using vouchers to get money off their grocery bill.
Moreover, just a third of Britons said they would spend on activities over the King’s Coronation bank holiday weekend in May, with 11 per cent saying they planned to buy food and drink for hosting friends or family and just 8 per cent planning to spend money on drinks in bars and pubs.
Esme Harwood, director at Barclays, said: “The below-inflation rise in grocery spending shows that Brits are still trying their hardest to shave money off their weekly shop, as energy bills continue to rise.
“Cutbacks are also impacting restaurants, with a number of cash-strapped consumers even avoiding social plans that involve meals out.
“Hospitality and leisure businesses will be hoping that the busy bank holiday period provides a boost to counteract consumers’ everyday cost-savings.
“While predictions for the Coronation weekend are lacklustre, the results from Mother’s Day are more encouraging, demonstrating that Brits are still taking advantage of one-off moments to go out and celebrate.”
Opinium surveyed 2,000 respondents between March 24-28.
By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Affairs Correspondent