Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” pre-release has fuelled a summer splurge after ticket sales provided a boost for the UK’s entertainment industry.
Along with pre-sales for the Foo Fighters’ upcoming tour, the pop star helped drive a 15.8 per cent year on year boost in the entertainment sector, according to a Barclays report released today.
It revealed that consumer card spending grew 4 per cent year on year in July, slightly under June levels, as Brits carefully chose where to put their hard earned cash.
Amid the rising cost of living, Brits decided to ‘shake it off’ and treat themselves to something which could take their minds off the gloom, with 11 per cent cutting back on expenses and indulging in concert and movie tickets.
While outdoor activities thrived in the sun, Esme Harwood, director at Barclays, said July’s weather “was a ray of sunshine for takeaways and streaming services, which performed better than expected.”
Takeaways enjoyed a 9.2 per cent year on year rise, while digital content and subscriptions grew nearly 10 per cent as streaming services may have benefitted from cracking down on account sharing.
Taylor Swift half? Pubs do well, too
As Brits continued to make the most of the summer, sales in pubs and bars also performed well, growing 7.6 per cent.
Demand for takeaways and fast food also rose to 9.2 per cent up from 4.4 per cent as it remains a cheaper option for many compared to dining out at restaurants.
Comparably, spending in restaurants contracted -2.5 per cent in July against a decline of 9.2 per cent the prior month.
It was also a less buoyant month for retailers as new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show total sales increased by just 1.5 per cent in July, against a growth of 2.3 per cent in July 2022.
Wet weather dampened spending on clothes and other seasonal goods leading like-for-like retail sales to grow by only 1.8 per cent in July, against a growth of 1.6% in July 2022.
This was below the 3-month average growth of 3.3 per cent and the 12-month average growth of 3.6 per cent.
“The slowing pace of retail price inflation fed through into slower sales this July. Spend was further depressed by the damp weather, which did no favours to sales of clothing, and other seasonal goods,” Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said.
“Online spending was down again year on year as the post pandemic trend back to stores continued, leading to the lowest proportion of non-food sales online since the pandemic began.”
There were further signs that Brits were pushing the limits of their spending envelopes in fresh e-comerce data from Adobe.
UK consumers spent £9.75bn online in July, with £1.5bn of it serviced by Buy Now Pay Later products.
The July splurge – sustainable or otherwise – is likely to give third quarter GDP figures a boost when they emerge later in the year.
On Friday, GDP figures for June are likely to also show a small uptick in growth, with analysts at Oxford Economics and Pantheon Macroeconomics both expecting a 0.2 per cent month on month rise, helped by a weak May comparator due to the King’s Coronation.