Fable Data on the UK fuel shortage: spend surged across Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland

London – Sep 30, 2021 – Fable Data, the European transaction data platform based in London, has today released figures that show spending at UK petrol stations almost doubled during the peak of the crisis last Friday.

Fable Data has analysed daily spending last week, using anonymised spend data from its panel of millions of consumers across Europe. Its analysis shows that the spike in UK fuel spending increased by 93% from last Friday compared with the average for the previous four weeks and remained elevated throughout the weekend. By Sunday the rate of growth had slowed, coinciding with reports of demand outstripping supply.

Motorists spent far more than usual at the pumps, with the average spend reaching £41, up by £9, or 32%, on a typical Friday as motorists rushed to fill up their tanks before the weekend as news spread of long queues and, in some cases, closures at the forecourts.

Whilst this pattern of spending and transaction growth was reflected consistently throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, it was far less pronounced in Northern Ireland, where spending growth on the week before peaked on Saturday at 25%.

Despite reports of a shortage of HGV drivers across Europe, Fable Data saw no evidence of increased petrol spending in its German data panel, with last week’s spending declining by 2% on the previous four weeks and in line with the recent trend.

Commenting on the figures, Fable Data’s CEO and Co-Founder, Luke Kennedy, said, “As this sudden shift in spending illustrates, this is a time of unprecedented consumer volatility. Our near real-time data is a leading indicator of economic activity that’s designed to help businesses and investors respond with agility to today’s consumer landscape.”

Fable Data is committed to improving the data available to government, public bodies and business, to inform better decision-making, generating broad economic and social benefits.

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Christopher Parr