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Essential spending fell in April as drivers spent nearly 60% less on fuel

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Essential spending fell by 6% in April driven by a drop in money spent on travel, data from Lloyds Bank shows.

Fuel expenditure was down 58% in the first full month of lockdown, while day-to-day commuting costs fell 86%. Taken together, these falls accounted for over half of the total reduction in essential spend.

Meanwhile, spending on health services, such as visits to dentists and opticians, was down 55% when compared to a year earlier,

Non-essential spending was down 42%, driven by a 94% fall in holiday expenditure, while money spent in restaurants fell 75%.

In contrast, spending on groceries was up 18% year-on-year in April, the same increase as seen in March.

Money given to charity was also up 4% in April compared to last year.

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.”


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