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Coronavirus: Non-essential spending down 42%

Non-essential and essential spending dropped in April 2020. Photo: Getty

Non-essential spending has dropped by 42% driven by a 94% fall in holiday spend, according to Lloyds bank data.

And essential spending fell by 6% in April compared to last year as the country spent its first full month in COVID-19 lockdown.

Consumers spent nearly 60% less on vehicle fuel last month but 18% more on groceries, the same as March. Generosity also increased with money given to charity up 4%.

Spend on health services, such as visits to dentists and opticians, also suffered in April when compared to a year earlier, down 55%. 

Regionally, essential spend was down 9% in London compared to last year, the highest of any region, followed by the south east, where a fall of 8% were recorded.

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The north east, and Northern Ireland, saw the smallest contractions in essential spend growth, each at 3%.

Money spent by Londoners commuting in the capital fell by 86% compared to a year earlier. 

Gabby Collins, head of payments at Lloyds Bank, said: “The heavy falls in total spending seen in April – particularly in areas such as holidays and commuting - were expected following the guidance from the UK Government to ‘Stay at Home.”

"However, the eventual impact on people’s finances is going to be harder to predict, with many experiencing drastic changes to their financial situation due to the pandemic. It may sound simple, but taking some time out to review your current finances, can help you budget for the coming weeks and months.”  

 The Lloyds data reflects a recent report by Barclaycard which revealed supermarkets saw a boost of 14% in April and consumer spending dropped by 35%.