LLOYDS Banking Group said spending in supermarkets was up 21 per cent in December compared to the same month in 2019.

In its latest Spending Power Report however it said spending in restaurants plunged by 37 per cent in the same period.

Overall what it termed "essential spending" increased by 4 per cent in the month but "was held back from further gains by a dip in both commuting and fuel spend", down by 60 per cent and 17 per cent respectively compared to 2019.

"Non-essential" spending fell 2 per cent in the same period.