Hospitality spend up 11.5%

Spending at hotels, restaurants and bars rebounded in the year to October, up 11.5% from 12 months previously after a relatively stable September according to the last Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index.

Pubs benefited in particular due to a number of sporting events during last month.

The latest Spending Index signalled sharp and accelerated growth of consumer expenditure in October, a month during which Budget 2016 was announced.

Spending was up 6.8% year-on-year following a rise of 5.5% in September. Moreover the expansion was the strongest seen in the 14-month series history, a period during which spending has risen continuously.

Looking ahead, the continued lack of inflationary pressure should help to maintain confidence among consumers and boost their spending power, with businesses hopeful that this will translate into higher expenditure in the run-up to Christmas, particularly with Black Friday (27th November) and Cyber Monday (30th November) taking place in the same month.

“Consumer confidence improved to a three-month high” commented Conor Langford, Country Manager for Visa Europe in Ireland, “and hopefully this will translate into higher expenditure in the run-up to Christmas.”

Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit (which carried out the research for Visa Europe), added, “The fourth quarter of the year started with a bang.

“A real positive was growth in face-to-face spending as consumers flocked to the high street, resulting in the fastest increase in the series so far.

“Areas of strength ranged from spending on nights out to the more practical DIY items, highlighting broad-based improvements in the economy.

“The trends in the data provide real optimism that the run-up to Christmas will see further strength in expenditure with the first expansionary budget in many years potentially helping to loosen the purse strings further.”

The full report can be read online at www.visaeurope.com/newsroom/

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