Consumer spending in Ireland experienced a slight decline in July compared to the previous month, but this was offset by a surge in spending on concerts and in cinemas, according to the latest AIB Spend Trend report. The average daily spend fell by 3% in July, with items such as clothing, groceries, and homewares taking a hit. However, spending with ticket agencies for upcoming concerts by Taylor Swift and Coldplay jumped by 88%. In addition, spending in cinemas increased by 132% following the release of blockbuster movies Barbie, Oppenheimer, and Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One. The wettest July on record likely contributed to the increase in spending on indoor entertainment.
The hotel sector was one of the few sectors to record an increase in spending, up 5% compared to the previous month. The highest increases were seen in Monaghan and Cavan, both up 12%. Spending on airline travel remained unchanged. However, there were significant decreases in spending on clothing (down 10%), homewares (down 8%), and groceries (down 7%). Spending in pubs and off-licences also declined by 2%, with Cork experiencing the highest decline at 5%. In contrast, Kerry recorded an 8% increase, likely driven by the county’s participation in the All-Ireland football final.
John Brennan, head of SME banking at AIB, noted that the wet weather in July had an impact on almost all sectors. He highlighted the strong performance of cinemas, which experienced a significant increase in spending following the release of two blockbuster movies. Despite the weather, the hotel sector performed well, which is positive considering the importance of the summer months for the industry. Brennan also highlighted the impact of inflation, with spending on fast food increasing by 7% compared to the previous year, while spending in hotels and restaurants increased by 3%. This suggests that people are opting for cheaper dining options. Spending in service stations fell by 11% year-on-year, likely due to rising oil prices.
Overall, the AIB Spend Trend report for July reflects the impact of various factors on consumer spending in Ireland. While there was a slight decline in overall spending, the surge in spending on concerts and in cinemas, as well as the positive performance of the hotel sector, helped to offset this decrease. The report also highlights the influence of weather conditions and inflation on consumer behavior.