Consumer spending last month rose by 17.8% compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest data released by online bank Revolut.
However, the growth in spending by the company’s two million customers here is likely to have been heavily influenced by rising inflation, as the cost of living last month was considerably higher than a year ago.
This can be seen reflected in the outlay on the non-discretionary category of utilities which rose 15% versus January of 2022.
But the figures also reveal that activity and transactions, as well as spending, has increased across a range of market segments.
“Despite inflation boosting the rise in consumer spending, the relaxation of Covid restrictions has contributed to the increased number of customers and transactions across several industries,” said a Revolut spokesperson.
“From trips to the theatre, refreshing wardrobes in the January sales, and dining out, it’s encouraging to see that consumers are finding ways to budget for treats and experiences.”
“Furthermore, January saw a huge rise in travel spending and the revival of the travel agency.”
Indeed travel recorded a 67.7% increase on spending in January 2022 as travel patterns returned to normal.
Travel agents saw a 178.3% rise in consumer spending year on year while hotels were up 35.8% and airlines 55.5%.
Spending on cruises increased by 144.5% and the sector saw a 39.9% increase in the number of customers making bookings.
Strong spending was also seen in entertainment, which rose 15.8% versus January a year ago.
Museums increased their number of customers by 70.2% as people got back out again while cinemas saw a 28.3% bump and theatres saw a 59.6% increase in the number of transactions.
Spending on digital entertainment inside the home also rose by 13.8% year on year.
Books took a hit, though, with book shops seeing a decrease of 17.2% in the amount of money consumers parted with.
In general, shopping spend was 22.6% higher, with supermarket consumer spending climbing 14.3% versus January of 2022.
“The January sales helped to increase shopping, as clothing stores saw a 23.5% increase in consumer spending, and 20.5% more transactions, year on year,” said Revolut.
“Similarly department stores saw a 14.9% increase in spending, and furniture stores saw a 21.5% increase.”
The popularity of bakeries also continue to grow with consumer spending in this area growing 47.6% year on year.
Spend in restaurants rose a third and fast food purchases increased by a fifth.
But florists saw a modest decrease in spending of 2.5% and sweet shops soured, with the spend there falling 11%.