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May saw growth in Irish consumer spending of +3.7% - marking the fifteenth successive month of expansion


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Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments), recorded a +3.7% year-on-year increase in consumer spending in Ireland during May, marking the fifteenth consecutive month of growth in household expenditure.

Consumer spending rose across both the eCommerce and Face-to-Face channels in May. For the third month in a row, the rate of growth for online spending outpaced that seen on the high street. At +6.9%, the rate of online expansion remained strong, despite easing from the +10.9% rise recorded the month previous, in April. Meanwhile, Face-to-Face expenditure rose +2.0% year-on-year, the sharpest increase in three months.

Growth in expenditure was recorded across all eight categories examined in May. The highest rate of growth was seen in Household Goods (+13.6%), which represents the joint-fastest for this category in two years. Other strong-performing categories in May were the Hotels, Restaurants & Bars (+5.8%), Transport & Communication (+6.5%) and Recreation & Culture (+4.3%) sectors.

A slight pick-up in the rate of growth was seen in the Food & Drink sector (+2.7%), this was also the case with regards to Miscellaneous Goods & Services (+1.4%). Finally, Clothing & Footwear spending was up only +0.5% year-on-year in May – which was the slowest rise in the current seven-month sequence of expansion.

May’s UK Consumer Spending Index also marked a return to growth, with expansion of +0.9% year-on-year. Although the growth recorded for May in the UK is slight, it is the first positive rise following eight successive months of decline. This month also sees a return to positive expansion for other categories in the UK, such as Clothing & Footwear at +0.7% (which has previously seen twelve months of continued decline) and Household Goods at +2.7% (which previously had been decreasing for thirteen months).

Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit said:

“Irish consumer spending continued to rise solidly midway through the second quarter of the year. Encouragingly, growth was broad-based across both eCommerce and Face-to-Face channels and the monitored sectors. Moreover, data on employment, wages and consumer

confidence all suggest further increases in spending are likely in coming months.”