Irish spending slowed in September

Irish consumer spending ended in growth for Q1 2019, according to Visa's latest spending report
Irish consumer spending ended in growth for Q1 2019, according to Visa's latest spending report

Weariness around budget time may have contributed to a slowdown in spending by Irish consumers in September, according to the latest figures in the Visa Consumer Spending Index, which tracks expenditure across all payment types.

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23 October 2018 | 0

Spending in Ireland rose at a slower rate during September, ahead of the 2019 Government Budget being announced. According to Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, expenditure rose by +1.5% year-on-year, down from +2.2% in August. While the small increase continues the trend of 19 consecutive months of growth, the latest rise in household expenditure was the weakest since March 2018.

Drilling into the specifics, face-to-face and eCommerce, rivals in terms of attracting custom, both saw rises in September, although both were slower (+1.1% and +2.3% respectively) than what has been seen in recent months.

Of the eight broad categories covered by Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, the strongest growth was again seen in Household Goods (+9.5%). Hotels, Restaurants & Bars also experienced a robust rate of expansion (+8.2%), whilst there was a notable gain seen in Recreation & Culture (+4.5%).

Solid growth was recorded in Food, Beverages & Tobacco (+2.8%) and Transport & Communications (+3.2%). But there were falls in spending elsewhere: Clothing & Footwear recorded a decline (-2.2%) for a third month running, whilst expenditure decreased again in both Health & Education (-2.9%) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-4.0%).

According to Philip Konopik, Ireland country manager, Visa, the weak growth in spending is a mark of potential concern from Irish consumers. “This aligns with the recent drop in consumer confidence reported elsewhere,” Konopik said, “amid factors such as the recent budget announcement and ongoing Brexit negotiations.”

Konopik added that while growth in most categories was encouraging, the slowing rate was concerning, as was the contraction of some categories for the third month in row.

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