August consumer spend up 2%

The Recreation & Culture sector along with the Hotels, Restaurants & Bars sector experienced accelerated growth of 5.6% and 5.4% respectively according to the Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index for August but CSO figures point to significant rises in restaurant and hotel costs during this time, also a main driver behind the rate of expansion.

Visa’s Index, produced by IHS Makit, measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments) and this revealed that Irish household spending rose 2.2% year-on-year in August, with the rate of expansion unchanged from that seen in July. Although the latest rate of expansion remains weaker than the average (4.8%) since the series began in September 2014, growth remains steady and household expenditure has now risen on an annual basis throughout the last 18 months, reports HIS Markit. Household Goods remained the best-performing sector in August, posting the fastest rate of expansion at 9.4% across the eight categories.

“While recent rises in Irish consumer spending remain weaker than average, it’s highly encouraging to see that household expenditure has now risen on an annual basis over the last year and a half,” said Philip Konopik, Visa’s Ireland Country Manager, “With the combination of a continued increase in earnings and subdued price inflation, consumers are benefiting from more disposable income to enjoy trips away and recreational activities as the Summer comes to an end.”

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