Insights

Passion for leisure

A view of the UK leisure consumer – Q2 2017

Uncertainty dominates the headlines, with Brexit negotiations continuing, inflation rising to 2.9% in June, and a squeeze in living standards all impacting denting consumers’ spirits. As a result, consumer spending power is shrinking for the first time in three years.

Our latest survey results demonstrate this decline in confidence as consumers begin to rein in on leisure spending. This appears to be the start of a reversal of an upward trend in leisure spending first seen in 2016 and mirrors the pattern seen across the retail market as reported in our Consumer Tracker.

As we enter the second half of 2017, we expect UK consumers to continue to tighten their belts as they experience a squeeze in their disposable incomes.

Key findings

Q2 2017

  • The leisure consumer has become more cautious in the second quarter of 2017, as overall consumer confidence has declined
  • However, confidence in leisure spending remains more robust than other areas of discretionary spending as reported in the Consumer Tracker
  • Quarter on quarter the only categories to see an improvement in spending were the discretionary leisure areas such as short and long haul holidays and going to the gym

Year-on-year

  • Net balance for reported spending fell in almost every category in Q2 2017 compared to the same time last year, with the exception of holidays and going to the gym which increased
  • For the coming quarter, people’s spending expectations have fallen or remained constant compared to their expectations a year ago, with the exception of short and long haul holidays
  • A year on year fall in spending indicates a reversal of the upward trend in leisure spending seen in 2016 which mirrors the pattern seen across the retail market where sales were flat over first half of 2017
  • Consumers are beginning to tighten their belts and switch from discretionary leisure to protect their everyday leisure spending such as their daily coffee or TV subscription
  • Consumers aged 18-34 are looking a lot more optimistic than a year ago, with spending expected to increase across all categories next quarter, apart from long haul holidays
  • Consumers aged 35-54 appear to be feeling the squeeze this year and are expecting to decrease their spending across all categories next quarter, apart from short haul and long haul holidays
  • Consumers aged 55+ are expecting to increase their spending on holidays over the next three months compared to a year ago, with spend in other categories expected to remain constant or see a decline

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