Consumers saving cash amid lockdown

Almost nine in 10 UK adults say they have saved money on everyday expenses since the lockdown began as shops and services closed to customers.

People who still have an income are saving cash in the lockdown due to a lack of places to spend it.
People who still have an income are saving cash in the lockdown due to a lack of places to spend it.

Nearly a third of those are putting the money into savings, while 23 per cent said the cash would go towards their next holiday; and nearly one in 10 said they are planning to buy their family a treat when the restrictions lift.

Meanwhile, according to the spending report from Barclaycard, local specialist stores look set to be among the few economic winners of the coronavirus crisis as spending rose by more than a third in April - despite an overall slump.

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Consumer spending contracted by 36.5 per cent year-on-year in April as the effects of the lockdown took hold - however specialist food and drink stores saw a 37.7 per cent rise as shoppers said they had become more aware how much they appreciate local shops.

Data from Barclaycard, which is responsible for nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, reveals that spending on essential items declined by 7.5 per cent, which can largely be attributed to a 58.9 per cent reduction in fuel spend. Supermarkets, too, continued to see a boost in sales – climbing 14.3 per cent as householders made larger shops and prepared more meals at home.

While overall home improvement and DIY declined by 42.7 per cent, online spend in this category increased by 26.5 per cent in April – accounting for 86.1 per cent of purchases. Digital subscriptions continued to increase in popularity with strong growth of 50.2 per cent. Online spend for eating and drinking – which includes takeaways – also saw growth of 24.6 per as diners treated themselves, while also helping to support local restaurants.

As a result, the UK’s confidence in its household finances remains resilient at 70 per cent – a figure that rises to 85 per cent of those aged 55, compared to 58 per cent of adults in their late teens to early thirties.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “It’s been a tough time for retailers as consumer spending has dropped considerably under lockdown. There are some bright spots, though, as Brits have turned their focus online and looked to takeaways, digital subscriptions and DIY to keep entertained and occupied. A renewed sense of community may be welcome news for independent businesses, with a growing desire to support local stores in life after lockdown.”

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