More than 2.4 million contactless payments were made per day in June, according to Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), pointing to a strong pick-up in consumer spending in tandem with the loosening of restrictions. This was the highest daily level recorded since the BPFI’s series began in 2016.
The latest contactless data, combined with a further fall in the jobless rate detailed in separate figures earlier in the week, suggest the domestic economy is rebounding strongly after months of lockdown.
The BPFI figures suggest a total of 73 million contactless payment made over the course of June, worth over €1.2 billion.
On a quarterly basis, contactless payments increased by 62 per cent year on year to €199 million in the second quarter, with the value rising by 68 per cent to almost €3.2 billion. This was also the highest quarterly volume and value since BPFI started collecting this data in 2016.
"The increase we have seen in contactless spending during the course of June reflects the easing of Covid-related restrictions on many businesses, including hospitality, during this period, and is a trend we expect to continue in the months ahead," BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said.
While the lifting of restrictions is expected to trigger a natural bounce-back in consumer spending, the unwinding of excess savings built up during the pandemic will provide an additional stimulus.
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) is forecasting household consumption to increase by 7.5 per cent this year following a 9 per cent contraction last year.