Sales of takeaway pints spiked in April, figures show

Overall spending down with falls in supermarkets, electrical goods and furniture

Detailed consumer spending data culled from customers of digital payments platform Revolut and also Bank of Ireland confirm that people were more “out and about” in April, with spending up on transport and bars.

But the overall level of spending was down, with declines recorded in grocery spending and in areas such as electrical goods and furniture.

Data from both companies shows that overall consumer spending among Revolut’s 1.2 million Irish users and the bank’s debit card holders fell last month, following a major consumer splurge in March. Spending on Revolut fell 3 per cent while Bank of Ireland’s debt card holders spent 5 per cent less than the previous month.

Much of the decline is due to falls in spending in supermarkets, the largest category, down 5 per cent on Revolut’s platform and 10 per cent at Bank of Ireland.

Data from both companies suggest increased activity in bars, which currently only sell takeaway drinks. Revolut’s customer base, which is younger than Bank of Ireland’s, spent 48 per cent more in bars in April compared with March, when the weather was colder and there was more reluctance to socialise. It rose 61 per cent among 18-24-year-olds. Bank of Ireland’s debit card bar purchases rose 10 per cent.

Revolut’s March data suggested a spike in transport spending of 50 per cent, as the worst of the pandemic’s third wave passed and the population became more mobile. That trend continued into April, with spending on trains up 25 per cent and a rise in spending on taxis of 21 per cent. Bank of Ireland’s data, meanwhile, showed a 14 per cent increase in spending on road tolls.

Data from both companies shows decreases in spending in April on electrical goods (down 15 per cent with Bank of Ireland and 20 per cent with Revolut), while purchases of office equipment with Bank of Ireland fell 6 per cent and furniture was down 12 per cent with Revolut, suggesting that those working from home may be fully kitted out at this stage.