Irish consumer spending increases yet again
Visa Europe's latest Consumer Spending Index has showed yet more growth in consumer spending; encouraging in and of itself, while face-to-face spending slowed down yet again in the face of unstoppable competition from online shopping.
15 May 2018 | 0
Visa has published the latest edition of its Irish Consumer Spending Index, which measures expenditure across a range of categories and payment types. For the fourteenth straight month, Irish consumer spending has increased, with year-on-year spending up by 3.8%. However, the report also states how underlying growth remains “subdued”, suggesting the growth rate has slowed since the start of the year.
As we have seen more and more over the past year, the gulf between eCommerce and high street spending continues to widen. Online shopping has grown by 10.7% since April 2017, while face-to-face spending rose at a much slower rate of 0.3% year-on-year. This represents the slowest growth on this measure since a -2.2% reduction was seen in August 2017.
As well as the broad figures, the Consumer Spending Index also offers a breakdown of spending by category, which allows observers to see where consumers’ income is being spent. The current report reveals that the strongest performing category was in the Hotel, Restaurant & Bar segment, where growth reached a four-month high of +9.7%. Recreation and cultural spending also saw a boost (+9.4%), suggesting a return to normal following the downturn in March caused in part by the heavy snowfall.
Health & Education (+3.9%), Household Goods (+8.5%), Transport & Communications (+5.9%) and Clothing & Footwear (+4.4%) also saw annual growth in April, and relative improvements compared to March.
Meanwhile, spending on Food & Beverages remained unchanged.
Naturally, the ongoing Brexit issue plays a part in all financial research currently; the growth is in contrast with Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index, which showed “relatively subdued” spending growth (+2%), suggesting hesitation among UK consumers amid the political uncertainty.
“April’s return to growth in spending is much welcomed after the slowdown brought on by Storm Emma in March,” said Philip Konopik, Visa country manager, Ireland. “Even still, the rise in consumer spending was modest, with sectors like Food & Beverages impacted by Easter falling earlier in the month this year compared to the same period in 2017. There were positive highlights though with significant growth in both the Recreation & Culture and Hotels, Restaurants & Bars categories.”