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Consumer spending returns to growth in March

A marked spending increase of 7.1% was recorded last March’s Hotels, Restaurants & Bars sector of retailing in Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, produced by IHS Markit, which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments).

The Index signalled a positive end to the first quarter of 2019 for consumer spend. Household expenditure was up 2.7% year-on-year after having ticked down in February by 0.6% with Recreation & Culture spending up 4.0%.

While spending increased to the greatest extent in five months the rate of growth was still weaker than the average seen since the series began in September 2014, according to the Index. Moreover, weakness in January and February meant that Q1 saw only a 0.8% year-on-year rise in spending, the slowest increase in the near five-year quarterly series.

“As the first quarter comes to a close, March saw a return to growth for Irish consumer spending,” commented Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager for Visa, “St Patrick’s Day provided a welcome boost as the Hotels, Bars & Restaurants and Recreation & Culture sectors both experienced a rise in household expenditure as the public celebrated the national holiday.”




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