Household spending has fallen for first time since February 2017, showing a decline of -0.3% year-on-year.
Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, produced by IHS Markit, signalled a reduction in consumer spending during December.
"Despite ecommerce reporting another sharp rise in December, this wasn’t enough to boost Irish consumer spending compared with December 2017," Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager, Visa said.
High Street Weakness
The fall in overall expenditure reflected further signs of weakness on the high street.
"The High Street’s continued struggle contributed to the first decline in overall household spending since February 2017. While the dip in spending is marginal, it’s reflective of an overall slowdown in the rate of expansion throughout the last quarter of 2018," Konopik explained.
The report showed that face-to-face expenditure was down -3.9% year-on-year in December, the second successive solid decline in spending following a -4.3% drop in November. In contrast, eCommerce expenditure continued to rise sharply, up +9.8% on the year.
The index which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments) showed that growth was sustained in the Food & Drink (+0.7%), Household Goods (+5.2%) and Recreation & Culture (+1.3%) categories, but rates of expansion slowed at the end of the year.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.