Brexit uncertainty fails to impact hospitality spend

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

July's heatwave was helpful for hospitality where overall spend rose 8.9 per cent
July's heatwave was helpful for hospitality where overall spend rose 8.9 per cent

Related tags: Euro, Uk

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the result of the EU referendum has not yet had a negative impact on consumer spend in the hospitality sector. 

According to Visa's latest UK Consumer Spending Index, spend in hospitality rose 8.9 per cent in July, the highest rise of all eight sectors monitored. 

Across all sectors, which includes recreation and culture, food and drink and clothing and footwear, year-on-year spend rose 1.6 per cent in July, compared to 0.9 per cent in June. 

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa said: “July’s data suggests that UK consumer spending is holding up despite the ongoing uncertainty following the referendum, albeit at lower levels of growth than we’ve seen in the last couple of years.

"Looking at the last three months, the Index indicates that consumers remain cautious with their spending. Overall growth is hovering nearly one percentage point below the average seen over the past two years.

“Looking at the sectors, the longer term trend we’ve seen for increased spending on leisure and recreation is enduring. And the high street saw its strongest annual growth rate in five months with clothing retailers in particular bouncing back after a fall in June.”

Weather and football

July's spending rise in hospitality was buoyed by warm weather and the Euro 2016. 

Josh Beer of The Illustrious Pub Company in Cambridgeshire said revenue was up 6.2 per cent across his business. 

"A lot of this was due to the performance of our outdoor catering business, as we were called in to provide food for BBQs, weddings and corporate summer parties," he said. 

“Sales at our pubs also benefited from the Euros and July’s heatwave. In our site where a large screen TV had been installed sales surged, and among our locations, those that allowed customers to dine al fresco were the best performer." 

While spend rose in July for hospitality, Annabel Fiddes, economist at Markit, which compiles the index for Visa, said consumer confidence 'remains fragile' and said operators should remain cautious. 

“Although the July data point to signs of improvement, anxiety around Brexit and a slowing private sector economy may pose further down downside risks to expenditure growth for the rest of 2016," she said. 

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