Consumer spending for 2017 ends on a high
Visa Ireland's latest Consumer Spending Index has showed an encouraging end to 2017 for traditional retailers, as face-to-face spending climbs for the third consecutive month.
11 January 2018 | 0
Visa has published its final Consumer Spending Index for 2017, which shows a 4.9% year-on-year increase in spending for the month of December. Coming subsequent to a 5.1% increase in November, it illustrates ten successive months of consumer spending growth.
Spending in the fourth quarter of 2017 was also strong, with a year-on-year increase of 3.6% – the strongest quarter of the year. The increase in spending for 2017 overall was more modest, finishing at 2.6% compared to 2016.
The Index reveals that Christmas was a positive time for traditional retailers, with face-t0-face expenditure up 5.3% year on year, and December’s growth the fastest since April 2016. Face-to-face spending also outperformed eCommerce payments for the third successive month. Online payments also saw growth, naturally, at 3.8%.
Despite this three-month boost (to be expected in the lead-up to Christmas), face-to-face spending was unchanged year-on-year between 2016 and 2017, while online spending rose by 7.4% during the year.
Regarding changes in specific segments in the industry:
- Household Goods recording the strongest growth (+12.2% year-on-year)
- Hotels & Restaurants: +9.7%
- Recreation & Culture: +8.6%
- Food & Drink:+5.4%
- Clothing & Footwear: +4.2%
- Transport & Communication: +6%
- Health & Education: -6%
“The December data is another boost for the economy,” says Philip Konopik, “with a strong finish for the year and positive growth for 2017 overall. The increase in Irish consumer spending is reflective of the strides being made in the labour market, with the unemployment rate continuing to fall and average weekly earnings continuing to rise.
“One particular highlight from our data,” Konopik adds, “is the potential recovery for Irish retailers, with Face-to-Face spending having risen for four consecutive months. We hope this marks the start of a trend.”