DUBLIN, 9 December 2015:The latest Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index in November saw the strongest expansion in the 15-month series history, with spending rising +7.9% year-on-year across all payment methods, following a +6.8% increase in October, the second month running in which the rate of expansion has quickened. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were two of the key factors for the spike in consumer spending during the month.
Retailers benefited from the increase, with the highest level of face-to-face spending since Visa Europe began the index also recorded in November with a +6.6% rise in spending amid improved consumer confidence among Irish households. Households' discretionary spending has risen throughout the 15 months of data availability so far. Rates of expansion have been particularly sharp during the second half of the year, with signs of growth picking up as Christmas approaches.
eCommerce spending was also up +11.2% as Irish consumers flocked online for deals on Cyber Monday. Double-digit growth in eCommerce has now been recorded in each of the past six months. Numerous Irish retailers reported strong growth over the course of the Black Friday weekend into Cyber Monday, particularly with the damp weather dissuading some consumers from taking advantage of the in-store offers.
Several broad sectors posted double-digit rises in spending over the year to November. Household goods led the way during the month, with spending up +16.8% – the highest in the series so far. This was also the case with clothing & footwear with a +16.0% rise in spending, as both categories benefited from the Black Friday weekend with Christmas shopping beginning in earnest.
High profile music concerts and Ireland’s international sporting success during the month helped to drive spending at hotels, restaurants & bars up by +13.2%, another record increase since the Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index began. Cinema sales also helped to boost spending in the recreation & culture sector, as releases like Brooklyn and the latest instalment of The Hunger Games helped to drive a 10.4% rise in the category.
Conor Langford, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa Europe said:
“The Black Friday weekend topped off a record month for Irish consumer spending across all payment methods in November, with Christmas shopping now well underway. While we did not witness raucous scenes in-store over the Black Friday weekend, consumer spending was still considerably up. Similarly Irish consumers took advantage of Cyber Monday, placing orders on the last day of the month in a bid for gifts to arrive before Christmas day. It was not all about Christmas shopping though as consumers enjoyed themselves on nights out, with Ireland’s success in the EURO 2016 playoffs and the series of U2 concerts among the highlights.”
Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit said:
“The Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index continues to impress as Christmas approaches, with consumer spending up at the sharpest rate in the 15 months of data availability during November. The data signals the strong positive impacts of rising consumer confidence, a drop in unemployment from one year ago, plus increased wages, and adds to the picture of impressive performance of the Irish economy. We would therefore expect official GDP and consumer spending data to continue to show sharp rises, once they become available. In the month of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events, the data suggest that retailers were able to generate greater spending. It remains to be seen, however, whether this will have been Christmas shopping brought forward to take advantage of discounts, or additional spending providing a boost to the economy.”
About Visa Europe’s Irish Consumer Spending Index
The Index is based on spending on all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards which are used to make an average of 110 million transactions every quarter and account for €1 in €3 of all Irish consumer spending. The Index adjusts these data spending figures for a variety of factors - such as card issuance, preferences and inflation. These adjustments mean that these data are distinct from Visa Europe's corporate performance and that the Index provides a robust indicator of consumer expenditure. It is produced in conjunction with Markit, a specialist provider of economic indices, who analyse and adjust the raw data to ensure it provides an accurate indication of consumer spending trends.
About Visa Europe
Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries. It is the leading payments system in Europe, and sits at the heart of the payments ecosystem providing the services and infrastructure to enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments.
Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. Visa Europe is also the largest transaction processor in Europe, responsible for processing more than 16 billion transactions annually – at a rate of 1,622 transactions per second at peak times.
There are more than 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Total expenditure on Visa cards exceeds €2 trillion annually, with €1.5 trillion spent at point-of-sale.
Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments in more than 200 countries and territories.
For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com and @VisaEuropeNews