Press releases

Leisure spending boosted by more confident millennials

7 February 2017

  • Improved confidence amongst 18-34-year-olds leads to increase in spending on eating and drinking out in Q4 2016;
  • Overall across all age groups spending on in-home leisure activities sees rise;
  • Younger consumers expect to increase their spending on holidays in Q1 2017, and by a greater proportion than those aged 35+.

Spending in the UK leisure sector was driven by millennials in the fourth quarter of 2016, with higher confidence among this age group leading to an increased desire to spend on experiences such as eating out, according to findings from the Leisure Consumer Q4 2016 update by Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

In research published today, based on a survey of 3,000 UK adults, the proportion of those aged 18-34 years old who reported spending more on eating out and drinking in bars, cafés and restaurants than they did in the previous quarter rose by three percentage points, from -8 in Q3 to -5 in Q4 2016.

The boost in leisure spending has been largely driven by millennials’ growing confidence about disposable income, debt and job security. Deloitte’s Q4 2016 Consumer Tracker recently found that confidence amongst 18-34-year-olds is now at a six-year high.

By comparison, older consumers are spending less on eating and drinking out, falling by one percentage point for those aged 35-54 (-10 to -11), and by two percentage points for those aged 55 or over (-9 to -11).

Overall for all age groups, spending on in-home leisure activities, such as TV/film subscriptions, video gaming and takeaways, increased by one percentage point from the previous quarter. As expected for the time of year, spending on sport and gym activities fell by three percentage points.

Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, comments: “The leisure sector fared well throughout 2016 and ended strongly in the final months. It is reassuring to see that younger consumers have not been put off by political uncertainties, and have continued to spend their money on leisure activities, such as dining out.

Oaten concludes: “Leisure spending is a good indicator of consumer confidence and the overall direction of the UK economy. Following a period of favourable conditions, including low inflation, unemployment and interest rates, consumers feel generally positive and have sufficient disposable income to justify spending on non-essential leisure activities.”

Blue January jet-setting
The report also revealed consumers’ leisure spending intentions in the first three months of 2017 and, with the exception of holidays and the gym, consumers expect to spend the same or less in most categories.

Younger consumers expect to increase their spending on holidays by a larger proportion than their elder counterparts. Spending intentions for younger people rose by seven percentage points in Q4 compared to the previous quarter. By contrast, the same measure rose only two points for adults aged 35-54 and one point for the over 55s.

Oaten adds: “In the coming three months, 18-34-year-olds are expecting to spend less on eating and drinking out than they did in Q4 and more on holidays and gym activities. This is a typical trend for the season, with health-conscious consumers keen to get over the ‘January blues’.

“Significantly, younger consumers’ intentions to spend on long-haul has risen by ten percentage points from the previous quarter, which is perhaps a further indication that consumers felt financially healthy at the start of the New Year.”


Notes to editors

About the research
Deloitte’s Leisure Consumer Q4 2016 research aims to provide a view point on the key drivers of the UK leisure market, how consumer behaviour is changing and the impact the growth of the leisure sector is having on the broader economy. Spending figures are based on a consumer survey carried out by independent market research agency, YouGov, on Deloitte’s behalf. This survey was conducted online with a nationally representative sample of over 3,000 UK adults aged 18+ between 31 December 2016 and 2 January 2017.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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