Irish Consumer Spending Sees Slight Increase In April
Consumer spending in Ireland grew by 0.7% year-on-year in April, according to Visa's Irish Consumer Spending Index.
Sales figures were impacted by the late timing of Easter this year, however, looking at figures for March and April as a whole, there was a growth of 2.4% compared to the same period in 2016.
“While the Visa Consumer Spending Index only recorded modest growth in April, the impact of Easter weekend having taken place in March last year has to be recognised as a factor for this," said Philip Konopik, Visa's country manager for Ireland.
The Easter period led to an increase in sales across several sectors, with hotels, restaurants and bars posting an increase of 9.4%.
Sales of food and drink grew by 6.3%, and household goods by 5.2%. Spending on clothing and footwear increased for the first time in three months, with growth of 1.5%.
Overall, online spending increased by 3.6% in April compared to the same period in 2016, while in-store sales fell by 0.7%, which marks a decline for the seventh successive month.
Andrew Harker, senior economist at financial analysis company IHS Markit, said that consumers are being cautious with their spending at the moment.
"While the shifting timing of Easter is to some extent responsible for the slowdown in spending growth during April, the latest CSI figures are consistent with the recent trend of relatively moderate rises in spending seen through much of the year-to-date," he said.
"While the unemployment rate continues to fall, subdued consumer confidence and a pick-up in inflation are potentially limiting households’ willingness to spend.”
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