Strong growth in leisure spending during April was led by regions outside of London and the South East, according to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker report.

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The average British househhold leisure spend increased by 8% compared with March to £215, which, based on the 25.7m households counted in the last census, represents a total spend of £5.5billion.

Both eating out and drinking out saw double-digit growth, with this year’s later Easter likely to have contributed to the increase as well as improved weather.

Average household spend on drinking out increased by 17% month-on-month to £47, reaching its highest level since Christmas, while average spend on eating out was 12% up compared with March at £84 and has now seen consistent growth in spending for four months in a row.

But perhaps the most notable finding was that average household spend on leisure grew faster in the rest of Britain than in London and the South East − which until now have been seen as the main drivers of the economic recovery − with increases of £18 and £8 respectively

Steve Jebson, Greene King’s commercial director said: “As expected, special occasions through April gave Brits the perfect reason to go out and spend money.

“Growth in leisure spending was strongest outside London and the South East providing a promising early sign that the improvement in consumer confidence is spreading and that the economic recovery is taking hold throughout Britain.”

The Leisure Spend Tracker was launched earlier this year by Bury St Edmunds-based pubs and brewing group Greene King, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk, to provide a monthly snapshot of “discretionary” spending by consumers.

It focusing on spending in areas such as eating out, drinking out, gambling, cinema-going, health and fitness and live events, and is based on a online survey of a representative sample of 2,000 people.

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