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Passion for leisure

A view of the UK leisure consumer – Q2 2018

Two years after the launch of our series, the leisure consumer is in good spirits. Consumer confidence reaches a new high since 2011, while leisure spending has increased across almost all categories.

Helped by a strong labour market, low levels of inflation and gradual real wage growth, alongside the return of good weather, consumers are once again keen to spend their disposable income on enjoying themselves.

Key findings

Q2 2018 at a glance:

  • Leisure spending is ticking upwards again, in line with consumer confidence that has continued an upward trajectory over the last year. The divergence between confidence and leisure spending observed in Q1 seems to have been only temporary.
  • Net spending is up in seven out of the 11 leisure categories since Q1, as the warmer weather allows consumers to enjoy a range of leisure activities outside the home.
  • Leisure spending is robustly up compared to a year ago as consumers have spent more on a wider range of leisure activities. Enjoying the sunshine and events such as the Royal Wedding at home, they seem to have spent less on short breaks. 
  • In Q3 2018, consumers expect to continue spending on habitual as well as more considered activities, such as culture and entertainment.
  • The World Cup fever is likely to have driven spending on betting and gaming as well as eating and drinking out.

The strong labour market and gradual wage growth have created more favourable conditions for the consumer and made them more confident to spend on leisure.

In the third quarter of 2018, consumers report intensions to increase spending in ten out of the 11 leisure categories. Consumers expect to continue spending both on habitual leisure activities such as going to the gym, as well as the more considered, big ticket experiences like culture and entertainment.

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