No sign of significant consumer upsurge: Visa Ireland

There was little sign of any significant consumer spending upsurge, with spending last month little changed from January 2019.

No sign of significant consumer upsurge: Visa Ireland

There was little sign of any significant consumer spending upsurge, with spending last month little changed from January 2019.

That's according to the major survey by Visa Ireland which covers all types of spending, including cash, cards, cheques, and online purchases by Irish consumers on a monthly basis.

Its latest survey found that total household spending eased slightly lower, by 0.1% last month from a year earlier and with online spending also having edged lower.

“Levels of consumer spending were muted at the start of the year, reflecting a trend we have seen in recent months where growth in expenditure has plateaued," Philip Konopik, Ireland country manager at Visa, said.

And Sian Jones, an economist at IHS Markit, which helps compile the surveys, said main street retailers tapped some good news after "spending edged closer to stabilisation following a lacklustre Christmas period".

However, online spending "was broadly flat after a marked expansion in December".

The findings chime with other surveys, including the regular KBC Bank Ireland commentaries, which suggests that Irish consumers remain wary of spending on big price items.

The Visa survey found so-called face-to-face, or in-store, spending, fell by 0.2%, but posted the slowest rate of decline since September.

Hotels, restaurants, and bars increased their spending at a significant rate.

Unsurprisingly, spending on clothing and footwear and household goods fell in the month amid sales discounting.

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