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Irish consumer spending accelerates for second month running, rising to 6.1% year-on-year growth in July

Press Release   •   Aug 11, 2015 07:30 GMT

DUBLIN, 11 August 2015:Visa Europe's Irish Consumer Spending Index has revealed that consumer spend on all payment types increased by +6.1% year-on-year in July.This was the second successive acceleration of growth, improving on the +5.6% increase in June and the strongest expansion since the series began in September last year. The data also showed that the latest rise in household expenditure was broad-based, with the majority of monitored sectors seeing strong expansions over the year.

Despite the continued poor weather in July, the rise in Irish consumer spending was unabated. Household spending increased sharply in a number of areas including on hotels, restaurants & bars (+7.9%) and recreation & culture (+12.0%). Consumer expenditure on clothing & footwear was also notable as the sector has now experienced nine months of consecutive expansion, recording a year-on-year rise of +7.8% in the latest data.

The growth in popularity of online shopping is also reflected in the latest Visa Europe's Irish Consumer Spending Index. eCommerce spending rose by +11.4% compared to July last year, albeit the rate of expansion eased slightly from +13.5% in June. The rate of expansion in face-to-face spending accelerated in July. At +3.8%, the annual increase in face-to-face expenditure was the fastest in the series to date. The rise was led by the food & drink and household goods sectors.

Conor Langford, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa Europe said:

“Visa Europe's latest Irish Consumer Spending Index, which takes card spending data and adjusts it for a variety of factors to provide a robust indicator of total consumer expenditure across all payment methods, is a very positive sign for continued growth in the Irish economy. Data released over the last fortnight shows how economic growth surpassed expectations over the last six months, a trend we have been observing in our reports over that period. The latest data for July shows that if the growth in household expenditure is maintained, this will be reflected in overall economic performance, given that consumer spending accounts for over 60% of GNP.”

“Our July data shows that despite the bad weather across the country in July, consumers have remained very bright in their outlook. People have been enjoying their nights out, whether it’s on the town in restaurants or pubs, or escaping the bad weather by catching a movie in the cinema. A trend of fashion makeovers is also underway, with spending on clothing and shoes increasing for the ninth month in a row as people pick up swimwear for holidays abroad and uniforms for children returning to school in September.”

Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit said:

“Growth of Irish consumer spending quickened again in July as the good news coming out of the Irish economy at present continues, with the recently released first quarter GDP numbers backing up the trends that were signalled by the Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index earlier this year. It is good to see from this release, and other timely data such as the PMI surveys, that the positive momentum in the economy is being maintained into Q3.

“One of the most pleasing aspects of the latest set of spending figures is that a diverse group of sectors seems to be joining in the economic recovery, a continuation of which is key to making the current upturn sustainable.”

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

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