Consumer spending in April rises at slowest rate since January 2018

There was a modest rise in consumer spending in April when compared to growth in recent months.

Expenditure across all payment types was up year-on-year by 1.2% last month, according to Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index, produced by IHS Markit

However, spending grew in March by 2.7% compared to the same month last year which was the biggest rise in five months.

eCommerce expenditure saw the slowest expansion in April (2.2%) since January 2018.

The sharpest increase was in Household Goods, where expenditure was up 8.5% year-on-year.

Other sectors that performed well in April were Food & Beverages (5.7%), which posted a rise for the first time in three months. This was helped in part by the good weather and the lack of a Good Friday alcohol ban for the second year in a row.

Increases in expenditure were also recorded in Hotels, Restaurants & Bars (5.5%), Transport & Communication (0.8%) and Health & Education (0.2%.)

On the other hand, spending was down in Clothing & Footwear (4.7%), Recreation & Culture (0.4%) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (3.6%.)

Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager, Visa said: “There was some seasonal cheer in April thanks to spells of good weather and Easter, which benefited a number of categories such as Household Goods and Food & Beverages.

“The overall level of growth, however, was modest and certain categories such as Clothing & Footwear remain challenged. There is little to suggest that the sluggish start to the year, which only saw a 0.8% year-on-year rise in consumer spending in the first quarter, is over and the current level of expansion is looking to be the weakest since we started the Index in late 2014.”

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