Consumer spending in Ireland continues to rise

More people digging into their pockets on back of positive economic news

Growth of Irish consumer spending quickened again in July

Consumer spending rose to 6.1 per cent in the year to July, up from 5.6 per cent in June and the strongest expansion since last September, according to a new survey.

Visa Europe’s Irish consumer spending index shows there was a 12 per cent rise in expenditure on recreation and cultural pursuits over the month.

Spending on household goods was up 10.8 per cent versus the previous month while expenditure on hotels, restaurants and bars rose 7.9 per cent. Spending on clothing and footwear increased 7.8 per cent in July, the ninth month in a row that household spend in this category has risen.

Other categories to show a rise in expenditure included health and education, up 4.3 per cent and transport and communications, up 3.2 per cent. Spending on miscellaneous goods and services declined by 0.5 per cent during the month.

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According to the latest index, online shopping was up 11.4 per cent compared to July 2014 although the rate of expansion eased compared to the 13.5 per cent reported in June.

The rate of offline spending also rose in July, up 3.8 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier.

The index, which is based on spending on all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards, monitors eight broad sectors. The survey adjusts these data spending figures for a variety of factors - such as card issuance, preferences and inflation.

"Growth of Irish consumer spending quickened again in July as the good news coming out of the Irish economy at present continues, with the recently released first quarter GDP numbers backing up the trends that were signalled by the Visa Europe Irish consumer spending index earlier this year. It is good to see from this release, and other timely data such as the PMI surveys, that the positive momentum in the economy is being maintained into the third quarter," said Andrew Harker, senior economist at Markit, which compiled the figures.

“One of the most pleasing aspects of the latest set of spending figures is that a diverse group of sectors seems to be joining in the economic recovery, a continuation of which is key to making the current upturn sustainable,” he added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist