Consumer trends, UK: July to September 2021

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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Contact:
Email Katherine Kent

Release date:
22 December 2021

Next release:
31 March 2022

1. Main points

  • In Quarter 3 (Jul to Sept) 2021, household spending growth (adjusted for inflation) was positive 2.7% compared with Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2021. When compared with Quarter 3 (Jul to Sept) 2020, household spending increased by positive 5.3%.
  • When compared with Quarter 2 2021 the largest positive contribution to growth was from restaurants and hotels, which increased by positive 38.1%.
  • When compared with Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019, which was before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, household spending decreased by negative 2.1%.
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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: 2021, released on 29 October 2021. 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. Details of improvements introduced in Bluebook 2021, which impact household expenditure and revisions to the previous publication, can be found in the User guide to consumer trends.

The reference year and last base year for all chained volume measure estimates is 2019.

Further information on latest developments and changes implemented in Blue Book 2021 can be found in the article Proposed changes to be implemented in blue book and pink book 2021.

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)
  • purchasing second-hand goods

Explanations for these exceptions and the related concepts are available in Consumer trends guidance and methodology.

Quality

More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Consumer trends QMI.

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Impact of the coronavirus (COVID 19)

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) between March 2020 and January 2021 and the temporary suspension of the Living Costs and Food survey (LCF) between March 16 and April 14 2020.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Katherine Kent
consumer.trends@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 455829