The easing of Covid restrictions has coincided with a loosening of people’s purse strings, according to data from Nationwide’s latest quarterly Spending Report that shows both essential and non-essential spending have soared.

The amount spent on non-essential items, such as holidays, leisure, gardening, eating out and even charity soared during the second quarter of the year as people enjoy their new-found freedoms by spending more on both themselves and others.

According to the Society’s latest Spending Report, more than £22 billion was spent by Nationwide members during the second quarter of the year as inflation jumped to 2.5 per cent in June. This is based on around 566 million transactions made by members between April and June – a 20 per cent increase on the number of transactions made in the first three months of the year.

Spending continued to rise across the board during the second quarter of the year – essential household spend increasing by 13 per cent compared the first quarter of the year, while non-essential spend in Q2 grew by 60 per cent.

As spending continues to rise, the UK Consumer Insight Panel convened by Nationwide Building Society earlier this year continues to look at ways that consumers can support the local and national economy, while ensuring that spending is done in both a safe and sustainable way.

More than 150 million non-essential transactions were made by Nationwide members between April and June (up 73% on the first quarter of the year) equating to around £4.6 billion – a 60 per cent increase in spending versus January to March.

Holidays saw the biggest increase in the number of transactions, marking a 288 per cent increase to 3.1 million compared to the first quarter of 2021. Total of £429.4 million spent in Q2 – up 141 per cent. And with staycations very much in demand, spending on campsites and caravan parks went up by 139 per cent to £69.5 million compared to the previous three months. The 500,000-plus transactions recorded makeup around one in seven (16%) of all holiday transactions.

While the number of transactions made on hotels and resorts increased in the second quarter to 1.8 million (compared to 353,000 in January to March), it is still much lower than how many transactions were made in Q1 2020 (2.25 million). Total spend via travel agencies is also starting to recover, with £128 million spent between April and June – double that spent in the first quarter (£67.5 million). However, it is still some way short of the amount spent in Q1 2020 (£356 million).