Household holiday spending jumped at the start of 2022, says Nationwide

Spending on utilities also increased in January as living costs bite into consumers’ pockets, Nationwide Building Society said.

18 February 2022

Household spending on holidays and travel jumped in January compared with a year earlier, according to analysis by Britain’s biggest building society.

Spending on holidays increased by 379% annually in January, while spending on airline travel was up by 408% and spending on cruises surged by 899%, Nationwide Building Society said.

There was also a 26% cent month-on-month increase in spending on utilities and bills in January compared with December.

Spending on utilities and bills was also up by 9% compared with January 2021, Nationwide’s analysis found.

The report was based on an analysis of nearly 200 million debit and credit card and direct debit transactions made by Nationwide’s members in January.

Mark Nalder, Nationwide’s head of payments, said spending on holidays, airline travel and cruises is playing a big role in rising spending levels “as consumers start 2022 in a positive frame of mind about the outlook for Covid-19 and about their travel plans for the coming year”.

He added: “The rising cost of living also continues to slowly bite into consumers’ pockets with spending on utilities and bills, including energy, water and tax bills, up more than a quarter compared to December but, perhaps more importantly, up nearly 10% on the same month last year.

“Spending on paying off existing debts, such as credit card bills, also increased in January as people look to try and pay down debt racked up in the run-up to Christmas.”

Mr Nalder said spending is expected to grow in February as “the return to offices boosts spending in areas such as travel, eating and drinking and leisure and recreation”.

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