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Consumers spent a fifth more on energy AND fuel in the past fortnight

Britons spent a fifth more on household energy and fuel in the last fortnight, new research has revealed. 

A delivery crisis for petrol and diesel had many panic buying fuel and the ongoing energy crisis has also hit households.

People spent 24 per cent more on energy in the last two weeks compared to the two weeks before and also paid 20 per cent more for fuel, according to the latest analysis of Lloyds Bank customer debit card spend. 

It provides a comprehensive snapshot of spend as one of Britain's biggest current account providers.  

There was an rise in fuel & energy purchases in the last two weeks due to fears of shortages

Fuel spending peaked on 24 September, which was the day after one of the biggest UK petrol station operators, BP, said a number of its forecourts were shut. 

This date was also when the highest amount spent on fuel in a single day was seen since Lloyds Bank records began and was 125 per cent more than the same day in 2019.

The rush of people purchasing fuel was likely due to fears of a petrol shortage after BP announced it had to shut several stations as there was a lack of lorry drivers. 

Whilst there was enough fuel to go around, there was not enough workers to deliver it, which led to many panic buying petrol and diesel with queues stretching for miles.  

The East Midlands saw the biggest increase in fuel spend in the last two weeks compared to the two before with purchases up 24 per cent.

This was followed by the West Midlands with an increase in spending of 23 per cent and the South East with purchases up 22 per cent.

Wales and Scotland saw the lowest increases at 14 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, followed by London and the South West on 19 per cent.

However, there are signs that demand for fuel is easing. Weekly  spend across Britain has fallen 31 per cent with the number of transactions down 20 per cent.

This is particularly true in the North of England, with spending on fuel in the North West plummeting 40 per cent in a week and 39 per cent in the North East.

Only three regions, all in the South and East, saw drops of less than 30 per cent.

Londoners spending on fuel fell just 20 per cent, the lowest of any region, followed by the South East at 21 per cent and the East of England at 25 per cent.

Meanwhile, the amount spent on cards on household energy in the past two weeks increased 24 per cent as a combination of colder weather and soaring energy prices gripped the UK.

Increase: Many are spending more on their energy after the UK crisis has led to prices soaring

Spending on energy is now 14 per cent 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.

This could also be due to rumours of a shortage of stock this year, again due to a shortage of delivery drivers.  

Spending on clothes surged 22 per cent while department stores took in 14 per cent more and electrical stores were 5 per cent up.

Further, with suggestions some supply chains were under pressure, spend in supermarkets crept up 6 per cent.

Commuter spending has also jumped 12 per cent in the past fortnight with Wales seeing the biggest increase, up 9 per cent, followed by people in the North West spending 7 per cent more.

Those in the East saw the smallest jump of 3 per cent whilst Scotland and the South West saw increases of just 4 per cent.

There has also been changes to travel rules recently announced which has led to bookings at holiday agencies increasing 8 per cent in just two weeks with airline spending jumping 6 per cent.

Bookings with cruise liners has also seen an increase of 3 per cent over the same period.

Philip Robinson of 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 per cent in the last week alone, driven by rising prices and colder months.

'With this in mind, now is a very good time to sit down and reflect on your personal finances ahead of Christmas 2021. Budget effectively, and give yourself a clear idea of what you can afford this festive season.'