Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Hotels and Restaurants Have Reaped Benefit of U.K. Consumer Boom

  • Household spending has been supporting economic growth
  • Restaurant owners predict a difficult environment in 2017

U.K. hotels and restaurants have been feeling the benefits of record employment and consumers’ willingness to spend rather than save.

New figures from the statistics office showed that spending by households in this category was at the highest in five years, at 45.10 pounds ($56.40) per week in 2015-2016. The data include restaurants and pubs, as well as hotel stays and take-outs. Separate numbers showed that the average weekly spend on cinema and theater tickets, television subscriptions and newspapers held steady.

The Office for National Statistics cited “high levels of employment and rising disposable income” in its analysis. The most recent labor-market data showed the U.K. employment rate is at a record high, while unemployment -- at 4.8 percent -- is at the lowest in more than a decade.

While the amount spent on dining out and staying at hotels per week was the highest since 2010, it’s still below the previous peak of 52.20 pounds in 2002-2003. Restaurant owners predict 2017 won’t be as lucrative.

Total average weekly spending by households was little year-on-year at 529 pounds, though it’s also well down on its pre-crisis levels of 554 pounds in 2004-2005.

Average spending on alcohol and tobacco continued its long-term downward trend and fell below 12 pounds for the first time, the statistics office said. Adjusted for inflation, spending is down from almost 20 pounds in 2001-2002.

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