In spite of high inflation and rising food costs, South Africans are spending considerably more on entertainment this year, compared to 2022.
This is according to FNB’s Card data which records entertainment expenditure that includes out-of-home experiences such as eating out.
Currently, entertainment accounts for 12% of customer spend, compared to 11.5% last year. This is offset against the top three spend categories, which – in addition to entertainment - includes groceries and transportation.
Lytania Johnson, chief executive officer of FNB personal segment, which consists of entry-level to middle-income customers, says: "Food and transport generally make up a significant portion of spend among many consumers, especially those in these income segments, and are among the highest contributors to inflation.
“Interestingly, in the entertainment category, we see largely middle- and affluent-income consumers spending more on out-of-home experiences such as eating out, going to movie theatres, and bookstores.
“This may be due to a combination of factors, such as people finding ways to mitigate the impact of loadshedding on domestic activities and an increasing desire to spend time outdoors,” says Senzo Nsibande, the FNB Card chief executive officer.
Given the upward trajectory of consumer spend on entertainment it will be interesting to see whether consumers will continue this trend going into 2024 with rising food and transport costs.
“These are largely influenced by local and global economic factors – and these are factors consumers cannot control,” Johnson said.