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COVID-19: UK travel and restaurant spending hit post-pandemic mid-term high, data shows | Economic news

Card spending for travel and dining out hit a new post-pandemic high during the mid-term vacation, while vacancies in the hospitality industry have increased, according to the latest data.

The figures were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of a regular series of real-time indicators showing the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

They also showed that the proportion of the UK workforce on leave in May reached 7%, or around 1.8 million people – a new low since the start of the data series in June of the year. last.

cafe closed sign businesses closed
The number of workers on leave has hit a new low

Data from the Bank of England, tracking payments made by card processors to 100 major retailers, showed that “social” spending, which includes travel and dining out, has continued to rise recently to reach a new high since the start of the pandemic, although they are still only around 89% of February 2020 levels.

It was up from 85% a week earlier and just below the 91% level in March, shortly before the first lockdown.

The level had plunged to 20% in the spring of last year when much of the economy was shut down.

Spending classified as “work-related”, including public transport and gasoline, was also at its highest since the start of last year – and nearly a fifth above the February 2020 benchmark .

Overall, card purchases during the week ending June 3 were 102% of the pre-pandemic average in February 2020, up from 95% the week before – although this is not the first time that spending has exceeded pre-pandemic levels since the start of the lockdowns. to relax in April.

The ONS pointed out that the last period covered a public holiday, a school semester and a pay day in May for many workers.

The figures also provided a snapshot of the state of the hospitality industry – with data from the booking site OpenTable showing the average number of diners seated in restaurants during the week through June 7 at 147% of the same period in 2019, although this is down from the previous week.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-10 10:16:00

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