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Continued sharp growth in Irish consumer spending with 5.6% year-on-year increase recorded in August

08/09/2015

DUBLIN, 8 September 2015:Visa Europe's latest Irish Consumer Spending Index, which takes card spending data and adjusts it for a variety of factors to provide a robust indicator of total consumer expenditure across all payment methods, signalled continued growth during August. Overall spending was up +5.6% year-on-year during the month. Although this was slightly weaker than the +6.1% increase recorded in July, the rate of growth signalled was still sharp. Year-on-year monthly increases in consumer spending have now been registered throughout the 12 months in which the index has been calculated.

The latest increase in consumer expenditure was widespread, with all monitored sectors recording growth. A spike in spending on household goods (+11.9%) was recorded, while hotels, restaurants & bars (+10.9%) and recreation & culture (+9.4%) also remained areas of strength as consumers spent money on going out. There were further signs of an acceleration in the rate of growth in expenditure on clothing & footwear, which rose +9.3% over the year, the sharpest pace of expansion seen in the 12-month series so far.

The Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index showed that online shopping remained a key growth channel during August, with expenditure online up +10.2% year-on-year. Face-to-face spending continued to record strong growth of consumer expenditure, with the latest increase of +3.7% only slightly weaker than the record rise of +3.9% seen in the previous month.

Conor Langford, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa Europe said:

August saw the sharpest rise in spending on clothing and footwear over the past twelve months, a key time of year due to factors such as back to school purchases. There was also a significant increase in spending on household goods, with evidence that electronics stores were one of the main beneficiaries of this trend. The real positive is that consumer spending has risen across all sectors this month and this also marks twelve months of consecutive growth in household expenditure, which will provide a positive boost to Ireland’s overall economic performance.

Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit said:

The Irish consumer continued to up their spending at a rapid pace in August, with the Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index adding to the recent positive data flow on the Irish economy. There appears to be little sign of any meaningful slowdown in expenditure growth as the summer months are left behind. Households recorded growth of spending in a range of different areas in August, from clothes and items for the home, to eating out and enjoying a drink.”