Consumers starting to spend again, survey finds

Visa’s index shows rise of 4.3% in April

Spending in hotels, restaurants and bars was up 6.1 per cent while consumers also spent 4.7 per cent more on recreation and culture with transport and communication spending climbing by 4.4 per cent and health and education going up by 1.9 per cent. also benefited from the upswing in the economy, with both categories showing positive growth.

Spending in hotels, restaurants and bars was up 6.1 per cent while consumers also spent 4.7 per cent more on recreation and culture with transport and communication spending climbing by 4.4 per cent and health and education going up by 1.9 per cent. also benefited from the upswing in the economy, with both categories showing positive growth.

 

Irish consumers are growing in confidence and have started spending money again according to a new barometer which measures spending across eight key areas.

The Irish consumer spending index published by Visa Europe reports that consumer spending in April was up 4.3 per cent when compared with the same month last year. It is the fourth year-on-year recorded the credit and debit card company. .

The report shows a dramatic increase in spending on food and drink – including supermarket spending – with a bounce of 9.2 per cent reported in that key sector. Spending on household goods including DIY registered growth of 8.6 per cent while clothing and footwear saw an expansion of 6.4 per cent.

Spending in hotels, restaurants and bars was up 6.1 per cent while consumers also spent 4.7 per cent more on recreation and culture with transport and communication spending climbing by 4.4 per cent and health and education going up by 1.9 per cent. also benefited from the upswing in the economy, with both categories showing positive growth.

The barometer takes card spending data and adjusts it for a variety of factors to provide an indicator of total consumer expenditure across all payment methods. It also found that ecommerce spending increased by 7.8 per cent over a 12 month period while face-to-face spending climbed by 2.8 per cent.

The head of Visa Europe in Ireland Conor Langford said the spending index presented “a real-time picture of underlying consumer spending patterns in the Irish economy”.

He pointed out that €1 in €3 of consumer spending in Ireland was done on a Visa card which meant it was “in a position to identify trends early on and it is a positive sign to see growing consumer confidence in the market”.

He said the report “highlights that Irish consumer spending continues to recover, which is an extremely positive sign for the Irish retail sector, one of the biggest employers in Ireland” .

Commenting on the spending index,economist Paul Smith said that due to the “unique nature of the dataset, we are able to ascertain that the upswing in growth is broad-based, with spending rising across a wide-variety of categories during April.

“This offers some comfort that the recovery has legs and can be sustained, although there is some concern that heavy discounting continues to play a prominent role in driving growth as the economy continues to recover the substantial ground lost since the advent of the financial crisis.”