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Brief Published: 28 Feb 2017

Brits Spending More on Leisure, Less on Vice

Britons are spending more than $55 a week on restaurants and hotels for the first time in five years

Britons are spending more on food and leisure and less on alcohol, smoking and drugs according to a recent family spending report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data, released in February 2017, is based on total UK household expenditure between the financial year ending 2002 to the financial year ending 2016.

Average total spending (adjusted for inflation) was unchanged from a year earlier, at about £529 ($657) a week. The report showed households have still not fully recovered from the blow dealt by the financial crisis, with family spending still below 2007 levels. However, ONS statistician Jo Bulman explained: “While overall household spending didn’t change much in real terms since the previous year, we did see some interesting shifts in the types of things people are spending their money on.”

While UK households spent more than £45 ($55) a week on restaurants and hotels for the first time in five years, average weekly spending on alcohol, tobacco and narcotics fell below £12 ($14). In addition to eating out and holidays, UK households spent money on traditional recreational pastimes, including 70p ($0.87) a week at the cinema and £4.60 ($5.70) on pets.

See Wellbeing Warriors for more on consumers’ expanding interest in holistic wellbeing and Moderate Millennials for strategies that tap into the increasingly health-conscious millennial market. For a deep dive into the growing consumer preference for experiences over ‘stuff’, see Luxury Changes Gear.