More than one-third (34%) of consumers intend to take advantage of the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, according to the latest Barclaycard report.
Restaurants, pubs and bars saw positive signs of recovery regarding consumer spending in July, with declines of 64.2% and 43% respectively compared with minus 86% and minus 93% in June.
More than one-third (36%) of respondents are now dining at restaurants, with more than one-quarter (28%) going out for drinks.
Data from Barclaycard, which sees almost half the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, revealed consumer spending declined 2.6% year-on-year in July – the smallest fall since lock-down began.
Spending on non-essentials fell 4.7% year-on-year but was a significant improvement from the 22.3% decline in June. Shopping locally contributed to the recovery, with food and drink specialist stores – including off licences, greengrocers and independent convenience stores – up 43.3% and takeaway and fast food up 20.4%.
Barclaycard said the figures were a reflection of 45% of Brits choosing to support nearby businesses.
Spending on essential items grew 3.2% largely driven by supermarket shopping, which rose 15.0%. Almost two-fifths (37%) of respondents feel comfortable visiting shops, with shoppers over 55 least likely to be concerned and 18 to 34-year-olds most likely.
Of those who are comfortable, 46% are reassured by mandatory face coverings and 45% by hand-sanitising stations at store entrances.
Overall travel spend fell 60.4% as a boost in staycations failed to offset restrictions on international travel.
Almost three-fifths (58%) of respondents are concerned about travelling overseas, with 50% hesitant to use public transport.
Brits are, however, feeling more positive about personal finances, with confidence in household finances (72%) and ability to spend on non-essential items (58%) returning to levels not seen in the UK since January 2020.
Nonetheless, trust in the UK economy remains at 23% and job security at 43%.
Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said: “Consumer spending has warmed up alongside the weather.”