Boom time: August bank holiday spend biggest since Christmas 2019

Barclaycard data card transactions August Bank Holiday
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Barclaycard has revealed UK card transactions made during the August bank holiday were the highest since Christmas 2019, with leisure and entertainment the biggest benefactors.


Barclaycard has revealed that UK credit and debit card transactions made during the August bank holiday were the highest since 24 December 2019, with the country’s leisure and entertainment sector enjoying the greatest increase year-on-year.

The payments firm – which is responsible for processing one third of the country’s card transactions – revealed that overall spending increased 9.4 percent on 2019, with total leisure spend rising 37 percent on last year and 27 percent on 2019.

“We haven’t seen transaction volumes like these since Christmas 2019, the last major shopping milestone before the pandemic,” said Barclaycard Payments CEO Rob Cameron.

“This is hopefully a sign of more positive times to come, and a testament to the strength and resilience of British businesses when it comes to adapting and thriving in a post-lockdown world.”

According to the figures, amusement park card transactions were up 50 percent on last year, and almost double those recorded during the 2019 August bank holiday, while the food and drink sector also witnessed a significant rise of 20.3 percent on 2020, and 14.5 percent on 2019.

The report follows a recent statement from the Bank of England which revealed British consumers saved £7.1bn in July, with the latest card transaction figures indicating the August bank holiday presented families with a long-overdue opportunity to invest that cash in entertainment experiences.

“The biggest upsurge in spending was in entertainment, leisure as well as food and drink as people celebrated the long weekend by going out to pubs, restaurants, festivals and zoos,” reported This is Money. “Aquariums and zoos, which were closed for months on end during lockdowns, saw families return, with card transaction volumes at these entertainment venues nearly double compared to last year.”

With many families already gearing up for the traditionally indulgent festive season, the substantial bank holiday figures offer hope that continued consumer spending could accelerate the wider recovery of the UK economy.

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