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Irish Consumer Spending Muted In August

Press release   •   Sep 18, 2019 00:05 GMT

Irish Consumer Spending Muted In August
  • Household spending increases marginally during August (+0.4% on the year)
  • Face-to-Face expenditure rises for first time in four months (+0.3%)
  • Hotels, Restaurants & Bars leads growth in August (+5.0%)

Dublin, September 18 2019: Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, produced by IHS Markit, which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments), pointed to a marginal rise in expenditure year-on-year in August, thereby ending a three-month sequence of decline. Spending was up +0.4%, cancelling out a -0.3% reduction in July. That said, the slight rate of growth still represented subdued consumer spending trends relative to the five-year series history.

Both eCommerce and Face-to-Face expenditure increased during August, the first time that this has been the case since April. Spending on the high street was up +0.3% year-on-year, a marginal rise but one that was indicative of a first improvement in expenditure in four months.

The rate of expansion in eCommerce spending was also slight in August (+0.7% year-on-year), and slower than that recorded in July. Online expenditure has now risen in two successive months following a marginal decline in June.

All but two of the eight monitored sectors saw spending increase on an annual basis in August. Growth was led by the Hotels, Restaurants & Bars category where expenditure was up +5.0%, a stronger expansion than in July.

Solid increases were also recorded in the Health & Education (+4.1%) and Household Goods (+4.0%) categories. Food & Drink, meanwhile, posted a return to growth in August, with a rise of +2.7% year-on-year ending a three-month sequence of decline.

Modest increases in expenditure were seen in the Recreation & Culture (+1.4%) and Transport & Communication (+0.7%) sectors. Meanwhile, reductions in spend were registered in Clothing & Footwear (-2.6%) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-5.4%.)

Read Visa's Irish Consumer Spending August 2019

Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager, Visa said:

“Irish consumer spending remains flat, but there was a number of positive developments this month. August ended a negative three-month sequence for Face-to-Face merchants, with a +0.3% year-on-year rise representing the first increase since April. Similarly, the majority of sectors saw growth, with Hotels, Restaurants & Bars standing out as the top performer with a +5.0% rise in spending.”

Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit said:

“Spending trends remained muted in Ireland during August, with a marginal rise in household expenditure cancelling out a similarly-sized fall seen in July. Consumers appear to be operating a wait-and-see approach at present, with uncertainty around the final outcome of Brexit still prevalent. The signs are, however, that households are becoming more worried about spending, with consumer confidence at a near five-year low. There was some positive news for the high street, however, with spending there up for the first time in four months.”

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device. As the world moves from analogue to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit (www.visa.ie), the Visablog (https://www.visa.co.uk/visa-everywhere/blog.html) and @VisaIreland.

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