Bank of Ireland: Pub spending fell by 6% in April

April’s spending data painted a relatively subdued picture across many business sectors, as social spending fell 5%
“It’s great to be #TogetherAgain and to see that people across the country can reconnect in their favourite pubs" said Drinks Ireland Director Patricia Callan.

Bank of Ireland’s Spending Pulse analyses debit & credit card spend

Pub spending dropped 7% in the month of April when compared to March’s outlay as spending hikes recorded by the Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse in the first quarter of the year receded.

Overall, Bank of Ireland  found debit and credit card spending was down 7% in April and the month’s spending data painted a relatively subdued picture across many business sectors. Retail spending was down 7% and social spending dropping by 5% – very similar to drops recorded in April 2022.

Despite Easter falling in April and the hint of a nice summer on the horizon following the wettest March on record, pub spending fell by 6% and outlay on fast food dropped by 5%.

Restaurant spending ticked up by just 1% (exact same as in April 2022), but there was better news for cinema operators (+47%), hotel owners (+11%) and those managing tourist attractions (+9%).

Spending levels fell in all 26 counties, with Sligo consumers (-9%) proving to be April’s most frugal. Monthly outlay in Kilkenny, Mayo and Meath all declined by 8%, with Donegal, Dublin and Kerry all witnessing 7% spending drops. Roscommon recorded a decline of just 5% putting it ‘top of the class’ in a subdued county-by-county spending table.

Teenagers (13–17-year-olds) recorded the only April spending spike (+9%) when different age group spending was analysed, making sure they enjoyed their two-week break from the classroom. All other age categories saw spending levels fall, with a decline of 8% recorded amongst 18 – 25 years olds and 26 – 35-year-olds.

Commenting on Bank of Ireland’s April Spending Pulse, Jilly Clarkin, head of customer journeys & SME markets at Bank of Ireland said: “Sharp rises in April spending in sunnier spots like Greece (+99%), Portugal (+72%) and Spain (+25%) would suggest that many people used the Easter break to get away from it all for a week or two. This was a spending trend that we also recorded in April 2022, so perhaps it wasn’t all that surprising that spending hikes experienced during the opening months of 2023 did not continue this April.”

“Consumers are still battling the inflationary impact on their shopping trollies, and grocery spending dipped by 8% in April. Time will tell if the latest Spending Pulse serves to indicate the beginning of a wider trend, or proves to be a temporary dip before spending levels soar upwards during the summer months.”

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