UK finance minister Sunak hopes household spending will bounce back

British finance minister Rishi Sunak attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain March 3, 2021.

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he hoped domestic consumption would bounce back this year without the need for government schemes to spur spending because household incomes had been protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked if this summer would see a return of offers similar to last year's "Eat Out to Help Out" restaurant scheme, or whether he would instead trust consumers to get out and spend money, Sunak said: "As a result of the actions that we've taken over the past year, we've managed to protect a lot of household incomes."

"I think that bodes well for the rest of the year. Our plan is working, consumers have built up savings," he told reporters.

"And what we now know, which we didn't know a year ago, (is) that actually as things open up, people do want to get out and go back to doing the things that they used to do, and I think we will see that in the coming weeks and months."

Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Paul Sandle

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