BOI: Social spending up 16% in May as coastal hotspots enjoy spending rush

As the population got out and about more, in-person card spending in May stood at 59%, compared to online spend of 41%
Card spend in pubs was up 4% in July according to Bank of Ireland, with spend on restaurants showing an increase of 3%.

Pub expenditure climbed 26% in May

Bank of Ireland debit and credit card spending in May 2023 rose by 18% when compared to April’s outlay according to the latest Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse.

As consumers nationwide rushed to soak up the sun, May’s spending data showed a timely boost across several business sectors – with retail expenditure increasing by 21% and social spending up by 16%.

The social sector also entered the summer months on the front foot, with pub expenditure climbing by 26%, spending on fast-food going up by 19% and restaurant outlay growing by 18%.

Young people led the way in the spending stakes in May, with teenagers (13 – 17-year-olds) and 18 – 25-year-olds both posting a spending increase of +23%. These age groups were closely followed by 26 – 35-year-olds (+21%), whilst the over-65’s still enjoyed themselves but more sedately, posting a 16% rise. As the population got out and about more, in-person card spending in May stood at 59%, compared to online spend of 41%.

May’s spending boom was highlighted as the sun shone in popular coastal locations, where a yearly comparison with May 2022 revealed that people splashed out in favoured spots like Howth (+30%), Enniscrone (+28%), Baltimore (+23%), Dunmore East (+21%), Rosslare (+14%) and Lahinch (+6%).

These seaside haunts all enjoyed an influx of visitors, while nationwide boat rentals ticked upwards by 70%, sales in tent shops rose by 54%, and spending on bus transport went up by 29%.

Commenting on Bank of Ireland’s May Spending Pulse, Jilly Clarkin, Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland said: “The sustained spell of sunshine Ireland enjoyed in May was a welcome relief and provided a boost for retailers. Spending on motor homes rose by 17% compared to April as people hit the highways and byways, whilst cinema spending dropped by 24% – so the contrast paints a very clear picture.”

“Accommodation spending was up 14%, and hoteliers, B&B owners and resort operators will all be hoping that the months ahead are going to feature several sun-kissed days. The yearly comparison for May shows how spending levels soared in coastal locations, so it’s likely that we’ll continue to flock to the beaches, lakes and camping grounds over the coming months if the fine weather lasts.”

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