Consumer trends, UK: July to September 2020

Household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE) for the UK, as a measure of economic growth. Includes all spending on goods and services by members of UK households.

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Release date:
22 December 2020

Next release:
31 March 2021

1. Main points

  • In Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020, household spending (adjusted for inflation) growth was positive 19.5% compared with Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020; when compared with Quarter 3 2019 household spending decreased by negative 10.1%.
  • When compared with Quarter 2 2020, the largest positive contribution to growth in Quarter 3 was from restaurants and hotels, which grew by positive 566.3%; when compared with Quarter 3 2019, spending in restaurants and hotels decreased by negative 25.6%.
  • When compared with Quarter 2 2020, the largest negative contribution to growth in Quarter 3 was from food and non-alcoholic beverages, which decreased by negative 4.0%; when compared with Quarter 3 2019, spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by positive 4.6%.
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3. Measuring the data

The quarterly consumer trends data are typically published around 90 days after the end of the quarter.

This release contains data that are consistent with the UK National Accounts, The Blue Book: 2020, released on 30 October 2020. As such, data for all periods within this release are subject to revision in line with the National Accounts Revisions Policy.

The Blue Book is the UK’s annual compendium of national accounts data and incorporates a number of improvements to methods and sources into the UK’s National Accounts.

The reference year and last base year for all chained volume measure estimates is now 2018.

Further information on latest developments and changes implemented in Blue Book 2020 can be found in the article Latest developments and changes to be implemented in blue book and pink book 2020.

Household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE) includes spending on goods and services except for: buying or extending a house, investment in valuables (for example, paintings and antiques) or purchasing second-hand goods. Explanations for these exceptions and the related concepts are available in the Consumer trends QMI.

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Impact of the coronavirus

From Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020, estimates of household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE), along with other components of gross domestic product (GDP), are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges we faced in collecting the data under government imposed public health restrictions.

In the case of HHFCE, these challenges have been compounded by the suspension of data collection for the International Passenger Survey (IPS) on 16 March 2020 and the temporary suspension of the Living Costs and Food survey (LCF) between March 16 and April 14.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Vera Ruddock
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455864