Nationwide consumer spending rebounded strongly in May

Total spending in Ireland in May rose by 13% compared with April with social and retail businesses enjoying spending boosts.

Spending levels have risen nationwide across Ireland with all counties recording positive spending trends, according to Bank of Ireland debit and credit card analysis for May.

Social spending in May rose by 14% (following a 4% drop in April), with pubs enjoying a 21% spending spike, outlay in fast-food outlets going up by 15% and restaurant spend rising by 14%.

“Consumers certainly didn’t hold back in May, sparking an overall spending rise of 13% and boosting social, retail and accommodation businesses amongst others”

The spending data also revealed that people were keen on enjoying their home comforts by getting back into ‘hosting’ mode, with catering spend increasing by 17%.

Trains, boats and automobiles

Accommodation spending went up by 12% in May, as camp sites filled up nationwide (+170%) and hotels experienced an 8% spending boost. Boat Rentals went up by 50%, car rentals by 26%, and outlay on Toll Bridges and Roads rose by 11%. There was also a drive-in demand for some pampering amongst many consumers, with Health and Beauty Spas recording a monthly spending hike of 13%.

May was a more positive spending month nationwide, following on from April when only one county (Longford) posted a spending increase. Consumer outlay in Offaly (+14%), Cork (+13%), Kerry (+11%) and Monaghan (+11%) all rose much higher, with Longford once again leading the way with spending in the county during May rising by 18%. On an international level, spending in some of the traditional holiday destinations remained steady, whilst a host of travellers flocked to the likes of Croatia (+65%), Norway (+65%) and Sweden (+21%) looking to broaden their horizons. 

“Whilst April’s spending levels painted a mixed economic picture consumers certainly didn’t hold back in May, sparking an overall spending rise of 13% and boosting social, retail (clothing spend rose by 16%) and accommodation businesses amongst others,” said Jilly Clarkin, head of Customer Journeys and SME Markets at Bank of Ireland.

“Also notable was the marked increases in spending amongst the different age groups, with 18 – 25 years olds producing a spending hike of 16%, outlay in the 26 – 35 age cohort rising by 15% and teenagers (13 – 17 year-olds) leading the way (+21%) as the end of the school year approached for secondary school students.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.