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Going out fights back against recession

Going out fights back against recession

Spending on going out climbed by 25% in the first quarter of 2009 as credit card customers splashed out, new analysis from Virgin Money Credit Card claims.

The figures suggest a return in confidence on the High Street although the spending was boosted by the late Easter, Virgin Money says.

Spending in bars, cinemas, restaurants and theatres climbed to £20 million in the first three months of 2009 compared with £16 million in the same period last year, spending data from the UK’s fastest-growing credit card with more than a million customers shows.

The biggest jump came in March 2009 when spending was more than 55% up compared with the same month in 2008 providing further evidence of a revival on the High Street.

And the rising trend in putting entertainment on the plastic was confirmed by figures for April, which showed around £6.7 million spent in bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres – a 26% rise on April 2008.

Grant Bather, spokesman at Virgin Money, said: “Analysis of our customers’ spending shows that they are more willing to spend on entertainment and leisure which is a sign of a return of confidence.

“Previously we have seen a slowdown in spending on leisure as people tightened their belts and were less willing to spend unless it was on essentials.

He added, “The effect of the late Easter this year may have boosted spending as people have gone out over the long weekend but this is an indication of some green roots if not quite green shoots.

“The spending is responsible as there are no signs of people getting into debt and customers should be careful to spend what they can afford and to have a plan for repaying any debt.”

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