Consumer spending in Ireland saw a significant boost in the summer months, despite the ongoing pressures of high living costs. Pubs, restaurants, and bars all experienced a surge in demand and footfall, according to the latest figures from AIB’s Spend Trend report. In June, which was the hottest on record, spending in pubs increased by 28% compared to May. Hotel spending also rose by 12% during the same period, and restaurants saw a 7% increase. The day of Pride particularly drove consumer demand for hospitality.
On the other hand, airline bookings fell by 6% as many people had already planned their holidays in advance. However, the demand for travel remained high despite price hikes, with package holiday costs rising by 43% year-on-year, as reported by the Central Statistics Office. Meanwhile, spending on hardware experienced only a slight decline, indicating that people still enjoyed time in their homes and gardens.
The AIB Spend Trend report, which compiled data from 70 million transactions both online and in-store, also highlighted continued increases in grocery spending. Compared to the previous month, grocery spending increased by 3%. The use of digital wallets and contactless payments also saw a rise of 9% and 4% respectively.
Commenting on the findings of the report, John Brennan, the head of SME banking at AIB, emphasized the importance of this information for businesses. He stated, “Summer is typically a busy time for hospitality, and pubs are experiencing a strong start with a 28% increase in June. People are enjoying spending time at home and in the garden, as DIY and hardware spend continues to stay strong, despite a slight decline in June. This information is vital for businesses, enabling them to plan for peak and off-peak periods throughout the year and meet customers’ needs.”
Overall, the summer months have brought a boost to consumer spending in Ireland, particularly in the hospitality sector. Despite the challenges of high living costs, people are still willing to spend on experiences such as dining out and staying in hotels. The demand for travel remains strong, although price increases have been observed. Businesses can utilize this data to plan and cater to customer needs effectively throughout the year.