Irish consumer spending signalled an ongoing reduction in household expenditure in July.
Spending was down -0.3% year-on-year, the third successive decline, according to Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, produced by IHS Markit.
That said, the report showed that the latest fall was only marginal, slowing from the -2.6% decrease seen in June to the weakest in the current sequence of falling spend.
"The latest Irish CSI figures are an improvement on June, however, there remains a continued lack of growth in household expenditure at the start of the third quarter of 2019," said Philip Konopik, Ireland country manager, Visa.
ECommerce spending showed a return to growth at the start of the third quarter, following a marginal reduction in the previous month. Expenditure was up +2.5% year-on-year, the fastest rise in four months, but still one that was much weaker than the average since the series began in September 2014.
"The return to growth of eCommerce in July, up 2.5% year-on-year following a -0.5% decline last month, was not enough to turn the tide with overall spending down -0.3% year-on-year," he added.
The research showed that face-to-Face spending remained the main source of weakness in July, posting a reduction in expenditure for the third month running. Mirroring the overall picture, however, the decline of -1.6% year-on-year was the weakest in the current period of decline.
"The high street continues to struggle, with Clothing & Footwear remaining under pressure," highlighted Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit said
"While labour market conditions remain supportive, other areas such as consumer confidence, retail sales and business activity chime with the challenging environment highlighted by the CSI as the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit seems to become more likely.”
Sector data suggested that the overall reduction in spending was centred on three categories, namely Food & Drink (-1.3%), Clothing & Footwear (-4.6 %) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-4.9%).
Harker concluded: "While labour market conditions remain supportive, other areas such as consumer confidence, retail sales and business activity chime with the challenging environment highlighted by the CSI as the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit seems to become more likely.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.