People On Dates 'Inject £3.6bn Into Economy'
Lonely hearts looking for love boost the economy to the tune of £3.6bn each year, according to a new survey.
Of the 37 million dates that take place in Britain each year, the average single spends £103 on a date, with nearly £50 going on food and drink in restaurants, pubs and bars.
High street venues have benefitted the most financially from dating, the study commissioned by match.com claims.
In 2013 the overall spend on entertainment, restaurants and bars is expected to be up by over 60% on last year's £2.1bn figure, according to the poll of 1,000 singles.
Centre of Economic Business Research economist Daniel Solomon, who provided additional analysis for the survey, said: "With just over three million active daters in the UK, there is no denying that their activity has a noticeable economic impact.
"Dating makes an essential contribution to the high street, directly helping a range of industries like retail, food and drink and entertainment."
The survey also found that the average dater spent more than £280 per year on clothing, cosmetics and beauty when specifically preparing for a date, giving fashion retailers and beauty salons a cash injection of some £900m.
The survey said this is up almost 5% on last year.
The travel industry also saw a boost of £297m, but the figure is slightly lower than previous years - suggesting that daters prefer meeting closer to home.
The economic contribution of dating varies significantly by region.
In London, dating accounts for £880m of consumer spending each year but in the East the figure is just £250m.
Some 69% of all date-related spending in the UK is spent in London, the South, the Midlands or the East, the survey said.