Belfast Telegraph

Early Easter boosts March spending

An early Easter saw British households spend £20 more on average on leisure activities in March, according to a report.

The average household spent £216 on leisure last month, up 10% on last year, and a 19% - or £34 - increase on February when many curtailed their outgoings after Christmas, the Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker found.

Spending on eating out saw the largest rise in March, increasing by £14 or 18% year-on-year, largely driven by Good Friday weather and the Easter school holidays.

Eating out remains the leisure activity British households spend the most on, increasing its share of the mix from 40% to 43% year-on-year.

Households without children increased their total leisure spending in March by £15, or 8%, year-on-year, while those with youngsters upped their spending by £38 or 18%.

A new trend of "lads who lunch" has also emerged, with 43% of men saying their weekend pub visit is mainly to have lunch with friends and family, the report claims.

Just a fifth (19%) said their visit was to watch sport on TV, while 4% said they went to play pub games such as darts.

Greene King group marketing director Fiona Gunn said: "Easter falling early this year saw many British households increase their leisure spending across the board, particularly in eating out.

"There was also the excitement of the Cheltenham Festival, which boosted other leisure spending, and the fact that the school holidays allowed many families to enjoy some quality time together out of home."