Consumers toast ending of Covid restrictions by spending more

Biggest increase in expenditure was on travel, data compiled by Revolut shows

Spending in bars more than trebled on the day Covid restrictions were eased but the biggest increase in expenditure by consumers last month was on travel, new figures show.

Data compiled by Revolut and based on customer usage patterns shows spending in bars was 212 per cent higher on January 22nd than it had been the day before when the 8pm curfew was still in place.

In addition, the number of Revolut’s 1.7 million Irish customers who bought drink in bars on January 22nd was more than double that of the previous day.

The relaxation of Covid-related restrictions led to a splurge in entertainment-related spending, with consumers spending an average of €39.98 as they toasted the end of early closing times.


It wasn’t just pubs that benefitted from the increased spending. Restaurant spending was up 45 per cent on January 22nd, compared with the previous day, although the number of people who used their Revolut cards in eateries was only 7 per cent higher.

The travel industry was the biggest winner last month, with the sector seeing an ever bigger spend than the typical uplift it sees every January. Spending on airlines was up 123 per cent compared with December, with expenditure at travel agents up 70 per cent. Cruise lines rose by a similar percentage.

Another sector that usually sees a rise in revenue come January is sports and leisure. Spending at gyms rose 39 per cent compared with December, with sports clubs witnessing an 85 per cent increase in expenditure.

Overall, consumer spending was 14 per cent down compared with December, as is typical following the big surge in expenditure linked to Christmas. Spending at supermarkets was 10 per cent lower in January.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist