According to the latest Visa Europe's Consumer Spending Index, Ireland witnessed solid growth in spending to close out the first quarter of 2016.
Spending was up +5.6% year-on-year across all payment types. While the growth is down from the 11.3% increase seen in February, which was partly down to the leap year, it's a solid result and shows that consumer spending is continuing to recover.
Despite slowing, the rate of growth in consumer spending is broadly in line with the average recorded since the series began in September 2014. Expenditure has increased in each month of the series so far. Not only that, but for the sixth successive month, each of the categories registered a growth in spend.
The rate of growth of eCommerce outperformed that of high-street transactions thanks to poor weekend weather in March. eCommerce saw year-on-year increase of 9.5% compared to the high street's growth of 3.8%.
Philip Konopik, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa Europe said: “Our latest data shows that whilst we experienced a slowdown in spending growth we enter the second quarter of 2016 on a strong upward growth pattern.
"The multitude of well-attended events taking place throughout the country in respect to the 1916 celebrations led to strong spending growth in the Recreation & Culture sector whilst adverse weather and storms led to an increase in online shopping.”
Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at Markit said: “While at first glance it may appear that growth of consumer spending slowed dramatically in March, it is important to remember that the February figures were flattered by the impact of the extra trading day due to the Leap Year in 2016.
"The rate of expansion in March is actually in line with the trend across the 19-month series so far and so can be judged a further solid outcome.”
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan