Region dips into pockets to pay for essentials, Barclaycard figures show

Shoppers at Chapelfield. Picture: James Bass

Shoppers at Chapelfield. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2008

Consumer spending grew by 5.5% across the region in November as consumers spent more on the forecourt and in supermarkets than the same month last year.

It marked the second highest year-on-year increase after record growth of 6.1% in October, according to data from Barclaycard.

Spending in supermarkets in the East of England was up 1.4% while petrol spending rose 11.7% as the region dipped into its pockets for essentials.

Restaurants were a top performing category with growth of 15.5%.

Travel spend growth also received a welcome boost of 6%, following a brief dip in October.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: 'November was another strong month for consumer spending growth, the second-highest level we've seen this year.

'While some pockets of discretionary spending, such as that on entertainment, was up again by double-digits, most noticeable was the amount households are spending on day-to-day necessities, with supermarket shopping and petrol hitting an all-time high.

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'Though there is little visible evidence of households yet being forced to decide between filling up the car or eating out with friends, the narrowing gap between essential and non-essential spend growth means they may need to look more carefully at how they allocate their cash once Christmas is out of the way.'