Consumer expenditure in Ireland increased in June, according to Visa Europe's Irish Consumer Spending Index.
Households increased spending on a range of discretionary goods and services, while also making more purchases of big-ticket items such as holidays and cars, the report stated.
Spending rose by +5.6% on a year-on-year basis during June – the best recorded growth since Visa Europe started to monitor data.
Moreover, the average increase for the second quarter of 2015 as a whole was, at 4.6%, an improvement on Q1's 4.4%, highlighting the continued positive performance of the Irish economy during the first half of 2015.
The latest data showed a large jump in expenditure for online goods and services.
The rate of growth for total online spending was, at +13.6%, a series record and considerably higher than May's +6%. Face-to-face spending rose at a healthy, but slightly softer, pace of +2.5%.
Online spending with travel agencies was up sharply, while there was also a marked rise in expenditure at cinemas (both via online and face-to-face purchases).
This helped to push overall spending markedly higher in the Recreation & Culture category (+9.1%) compared to a year ago.
Meanwhile, a strong increase in spending with airlines and on cars (both used and new) drove a +7.4% increase in expenditure in Transport & Communication.
As has been the case in recent months, spending also rose sharply in the Household Goods category (+11.9%).
Conor Langford, country manager, Ireland, Visa Europe said: “High levels of consumer confidence have led the Irish public to opt for holidays abroad in order to escape the mixed weather we experienced in June this year, with our data showing a rise in spending with travel agencies and airlines alike.
“Blockbusters like Jurassic World and Spy also led to a boost for the entertainment sector as Irish consumers hit cinemas in their droves.”
“June was a record month for consumer spending in Ireland, marking the highest increase in expenditure since we started monitoring data for the Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index.
“The growth in consecutive quarters is a real positive in terms of the continued momentum behind the Irish economy.”
Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit said: “June’s data rounded off another strong quarter of Irish consumer spending expansion and, in line with business surveys, shows Ireland growing at a rapid pace heading into the second-half of the year.
“Although there will be inevitably some heightened concern over the impact that the ongoing Greek debt crisis will have on wider economic growth in the coming months, so far Irish consumers seem happy to shrug off this uncertainty, raising their spending in a broad-based manner during June.”