Despite slowing, the rate of growth in consumer spend is broadly in line with the average recorded since the series began in September 2014. Expenditure has increased in each month of the series to date.
Each of the broad spending categories registered growth on an annual basis in March, the sixth successive month in which this has been the case.
Adding to the strong performance were the various events taking place across the country in celebration of the 1916 Centenary.
But although Easter contributed to an expenditure increase in March, the Hotels, Restaurants & Bars sector saw its weakest rise of 2016.
“Our latest data shows that whilst we experienced a slowdown in spending growth we enter the second quarter of 2016 on a strong upward growth pattern,” said Philip Konopik, Country Manager for Visa Europe in Ireland, “The multitude of well-attended events taking place throughout the country in respect to the 1916 celebrations led to strong spending growth in the Recreation & Culture sector whilst adverse weather and storms led to an increase in online shopping.”
Overall, the latest data for Visa Europe’s Consumer Spending Index for Ireland showed continued solid growth in spending to close out the first quarter of 2016.
March spend was up 5.6% year-on-year across all payment types. This represented a slowdown from the 11.3% increase seen in February when the extent of the rise had been flattered by the extra trading day as a result of 2016 being a Leap Year coupled with additional Valentine’s Day spending.
Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at financial information services provider company Markit, added, “Looking at the first quarter as a whole, Visa Europe’s Irish Consumer Spending Index suggests that we can expect to see further growth of GDP and official consumer spending when these data are released later in the year.”
The full report can be read online at www.visaeurope.com/newsroom/
Although Easter contributed to an expenditure increase in March, the Hotels, Restaurants & Bars sector saw its weakest rise of 2016.