Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, produced by IHS Markit, which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments), highlighted a pick-up in momentum at the start of the fourth quarter of the year. Household expenditure was up +4.0% year-on-year, the fastest in four months following a modest rise of +1.5% in September.
Halloween helped to boost Irish consumer spending in October. A number of categories benefited as households engaged in Halloween celebrations purchasing items like decorations and treats, as well as engaging in recreational activities. For example, the Household Goods category, which includes home improvement stores that sell items like lighting and props, saw a +14.4% year-on-year spike in spending, the increase was the best for almost three years.
The rate of growth in eCommerce spending quickened markedly to a six-month high of +7.7% year-on-year in October, from +2.3% in September. Meanwhile expenditure on the high street was up +2.2% on an annual basis, the best performance since June. High street expenditure has now risen on an annual basis in each of the past 14 months.
An improving picture was seen across most of the eight broad categories covered by the survey in October, with growth led by Household Goods (+14.4%) for the sixth successive month. Sharp and accelerated rises in expenditure were also recorded in the Recreation & Culture (+9.3%) and Transport & Communication (+8.3%) categories. The Hotels, Restaurants & Bars (+5.9%) and Food & Drink (+1.2%) categories both recorded positive growth. The only sectors to see spending fall year-on-year were Clothing & Footwear (-1.2%) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-1.1%). The -1.2% reduction in Clothing & Footwear expenditure was the fourth in as many months, and the most marked since March 2017.
Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager, Visa said:
“Halloween helped to boost Irish consumer spending during October. Shoppers were clearly in the mood to mark the annual celebrations with both high street and online spending recording growth. Recreation and culture performed particularly well as families enjoyed the Halloween celebrations and mid-term break. It was a positive start to the final quarter of the year and hopefully the momentum will continue as we head towards the festive season”.
Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit said:
“October saw a welcome pick-up in growth of consumer spending following a recent soft-patch. Online spending moved up a gear, but the high street continued to perform solidly, a positive sign as the busiest time of year approaches with the Black Friday period almost upon us. Spending increased across a broad range of categories, from household items to days out and trips to restaurants. The only real area of weakness was in Clothing & Footwear, where expenditure continued to fall.”