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Hospitality spend up in January

Recreation & Culture and Hotels, Restaurants & Bars saw expenditure in January rise by 8.3% and 7.0% respectively on an annual basis according to Visa's Irish Consumer Spending Index which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments).

Indeed all eight sectors monitored saw expenditure increase during January, the second time in three months in which this has been the case.

January saw a 7.3% year-on-year overall expansion in spending on the high street, the most marked increase since February 2016. Face-to-Face expenditure has now risen in each of the past five months.

General growth in Irish consumer spend gathered momentum at the start of 2018 with the index signalling a 5.3% year-on-year expansion in household expenditure, up from the 4.9% increase seen in December. Moreover, the rate of growth was the fastest for a year-and-a-half. The rise was also stronger than the average since the series began in September 2014.

Food & Drink recorded a rise in expenditure for the fifth month in a row at the start of 2018. At 3.4% year-on-year, the rate of growth was solid but weaker than that seen in December.

The resilience of Irish consumer spending is in stark contrast to the situation in the UK which witnessed a disappointing start to the year as consumer spend fell for the fifth month in a row on an annual basis.

There, households continue to face rising living costs and lacklustre wage growth.

Overall consumer expenditure in the UK fell by 1.2% year-on-year in January, with spending having now fallen in eight of the past nine months.




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