The Hotels, Restaurants & Bars sector recorded a 0.8% marginal increase in spend in October. More modest improvements were seen in the Food & Drink (up 2.1%) category.
IHS Markit, which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments), signalled a third successive decrease in overall consumer spending during November. Down 1.9% year-on-year, the reduction was slightly stronger than that seen in October (down 1.4%) but softer than in September.
According to research carried out by Visa, just over half of Irish shoppers (52%) said they would make purchases in a local business in the run-up to Christmas, specifically to support local shopkeepers. This sentiment suggests a positive outlook for face-to-face spending across December which may have given rise to stronger consumer spending overall as people prepared for Christmas and the New Year.
Solid falls in expenditure were seen in Recreation & Culture (down 4.4%).
“As our research shows, Irish shoppers are more inclined to shop locally during the Festive season so retailers will be hoping this translates into a positive sales performance in the last month of the year,” said Visa Ireland’s Country Manager Philip Konopik.
Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit, added, “Irish consumer spending remained stuck in a soft-patch in November. That said, the timing of Black Friday this year may have affected the year-on-year comparison. Black Friday was right at the end of November in 2019, with Cyber Monday occurring in December. This impacted online spend and could help lead to an improved picture in the CSI in December”.
Retailers would be hoping that this is indeed the case and that the Christmas period would see a revival in spending, he added.