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Fuel and household energy spend rise a fifth in a fortnight

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Written by: Emma Lunn
14/10/2021
Friday 24 September saw the highest spend on fuel ever recorded, according to Lloyds Bank, 125% more than the same day in 2019.

A study by the bank also found that households spent 24% more on energy on debit cards over past fortnight compared to the previous two weeks.

Spending on fuel

Lloyds found that across the UK, its customers spent a fifth (20%) more at petrol stations in the past two weeks, compared to the two weeks before. Fuel spend peaked on 24 September, the day BP and Tesco said a number of its forecourts were shut, where the highest amount spent on fuel in a single day was seen since Lloyds Bank records began.

The East Midlands saw the biggest increase in fuel spend in the past two weeks compared to the two before, up 24%, followed by the West Midlands (23%) and the South East (22%). This was followed by Yorkshire and Humber and the East Midlands (both 20%). Wales and Scotland saw the lowest increases, at 14% and 15% respectively, followed by London and the South West at 19%.

However, there are signs that demand for fuel is easing. Week on week spending across the UK has fallen by almost a third (31%), with the number of transactions down 20%.

This is particularly true in the North of England, with spending on fuel in the North West plummeting 40% in a week, and 39% in the North East. Only three regions, all in the South and East, saw drops of less than 30%. Londoners spending on fuel fell just 20%, the lowest of any region, followed by the South East (21%) and East of England (25%).

Spending on energy

According to Lloyds, the amount spent on debit cards on household energy in the past two weeks increased 24%, as a combination of colder weather and soaring energy prices gripped the UK. The bank said spending on energy is now 14% higher than the same two weeks in 2020.

Despite potential pressure on family finances from fuel costs and energy prices, spending on high streets over the past two weeks has increased significantly when compared to the two weeks before, perhaps indicating shoppers are getting an early start on Christmas gifts.

Lloyds said that spending on clothes surged 22%, while department stores took in 14% more, and electrical stores were 5% up. Spend in supermarkets crept up 6%.

Philip Robinson, payments and fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Bank, said: “After an initial incredible spike in late September where spending on fuel was the highest we’ve ever seen it, over the past week, card payments at petrol stations have fallen, particularly in Northern and Western parts of the UK.

“However, household energy spend continues to increase, 13% in the last week alone, driven by rising prices and colder months.”

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