One in three ‘more upbeat about finances and jobs amid vaccine announcements’


A third of people are feeling more upbeat about their finances and job security due to the recent positive string of announcements about Covid-19 vaccines, a survey has found.

A fifth are also planning to make major purchases in the near future as they are optimistic that life will be closer to normal soon, the research carried out in late November for Barclaycard found.

As people looked to bring more much-needed cheer into their lives, about one in four (26%) said they had put their Christmas tree up earlier than usual.

Barclaycard’s consumer spending data also found that spending declined by 1.9% annually in November, although despite the decline there were several bright spots.

Supermarkets saw a 17.9% year-on-year rise in expenditure.

The release of new consoles and video games also helped boost spending on electronics while online spending was spurred by festive sales and the closure of some physical stores.

Spending on digital subscriptions jumped by 43.1% annually as households were gripped by dramas such as Sky Atlantic’s glamourous whodunnit The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, and the new series of The Crown on Netflix.

Nearly three in 10 (28%) people in Barclaycard’s survey said they had been spending more on goods and services to entertain themselves indoors.

Spending on food and drink specialist stores, including greengrocers, butchers and bakeries, grew by 54.3% annually.

About a third (32%) of people surveyed said they will make an extra effort to support their community this festive season.

Discount stores also proved popular with a spending rise of 37.8%.

But the hospitality sector continued to suffer, with spending on restaurants down 56.7% annually and spending on pubs and bars down by 56.3%.

Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products at Barclaycard, said: “Supermarkets, local shops and online retailers have all performed strongly while the longer evenings at home saw spend soar on digital subscriptions and electronics, helped by new consoles hitting the market.

“Unfortunately, the hospitality and entertainment sectors have continued to suffer.”

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