Wednesday 6 February 2019 5:34 pm

Restaurant sector defies confidence slump as UK leisure spending grows

Restaurant goers continued to show an appetite for dining out towards the end of last year, with net spending in the UK’s leisure sector rising in the final three months of 2018.

According to a new report from Deloitte, the UK’s leisure industry grew by two percentage points year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, despite recent data showing an 18-month low in consumer confidence.

Restaurant and pub spending grew by six and five percentage points respectively, while drinking in coffee shops and attending sports events saw spending rise by two percentage points year-on-year.

“Despite overall confidence falling for the second consecutive quarter, the wider economic picture is currently favourable for consumers. Falling inflation, high employment and rising wage growth has led to greater spending power. Having found themselves in the black, consumers chose to spend the balance on fun experiences, causing an uptick in overall leisure spending,” said Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte.

Oaten added: “All in all, consumer demand for the leisure sector is likely to remain strong for the time being, particularly if 2019 continues to offer favourable conditions for consumers. This is a sector that continues to appeal to consumers’ enduring passion for creating memories through experiences and having fun.”