Good weather and World Cup buoy Irish consumer spending

Visa index shows spending increased 5.5% in June compared to previous year

The household goods sector posted a 13 per cent year-on-year increase in June. Photograph: iStock

The household goods sector posted a 13 per cent year-on-year increase in June. Photograph: iStock

 

Household spending in June rose at the fastest rate since 2016 buoyed by the strong weather as Irish shoppers increasingly opted to take to the high street, according to figures from Visa.

Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index found that the recent heatwave contributed to a 5.5 per cent increase in spending year-on-year, up from the 3.7 per cent increase recorded in May – the fastest rise in household spend since July 2016.

Although online buying was up, the rate of expansion eased to a three-month low of 5.5 per cent in June while face to face purchases rose by 5.4 per cent – the strongest rise since January.

Home improvement stores selling barbecues and garden furniture performed well in the survey with the household goods sector as a whole posting the fastest increase in spending, up 13 per cent.

Double-digit growth was also recorded in the hotel, restaurant and bar sector with sporting events like the world cup helping drive a 10 per cent increase in spending.

Food and drink

Spending on food and drink reached a three-month high in June, up 7.9 per cent, while there were also increases in the clothing and footwear, transport and communication and recreation and culture categories.

“With the good weather continuing into July, consumer confidence at the highest for nearly 2½ years and unemployment at the lowest in over a decade, the stage is set for further increases in spending as the second half of 2018 begins,” said Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit.

That view was backed by Davy analyst David McNamara who wrote in a client note that the rise in real wages “should help sustain growth in consumer spending in the second half of the year”.

Visa’s index measures expenditure across all payment types.