February: Increase in consumer spending continues

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Visa Europe's most recent Consumer Spending Index has been publised, showing yet another increase in year-on-year consumer spending



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7 March 2016

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Irish household expenditure stepped up yet again in February, according to Visa Europe’s latest Consumer Spending Index. Spending was up +11.3% year-on-year across all payments types (cash, cheque, electronic options), which is a leap from the +7.5% seen in January, and the biggest jump the index has seen since it was established 18 months ago.

Part of the year-on-year jump would be down to the extra trading day on February 29th, due to the leap year.

A number of sectors benefitted from Valentine’s Day also, as consumers purchased gifts such as flowers, restaurant visits and hotel bookings. According to Visa, the average Irish spend on flowers was €55, ranking higher than the UK and Germany, where €47 and €33 was the average spend, respectively.

Growth in consumer spending also saw a record increase in face-to-face expenditure. There was a 9.2% increase in spend on discretionary items compared to the same month last year, while eCommerce alos saw a sharp expansion – +15.4% year-on-year.

“It was particularly encouraging to see a record increase in high-street spending as the economic recovery continues,” said Visa Europe’s country manager Philip Konopik. “A clear sign of the growing confidence of the retail community was the expansion plans announced in recent weeks by a number of businesses including SuperValu, Maxol and Centra.

“A recent survey by the Irish Hotels Federation has also shown that 82% of hoteliers are seeing an increase in business levels compared to this time last year,” he added.




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