According to Visa Europe’s Irish consumer spending index, there was “a marked and accelerated growth” in spending here last month, rising 5.6% on a year-on-year basis during June – the best recorded growth since Visa Europe started to monitor data.
The average increase for the second quarter of 2015 as a whole at 4.6% was an improvement on first quarter growth of 4.4%.
The latest data shows a large jump in expenditure for online goods and services. The rate of growth for total online spending was a record 13.6% and considerably higher than May’s increase of 6%. Face-to-face spending rose at a healthy but slightly slower rate 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 increase overall spending in the Recreation and Culture category by over 9% compared to a year ago.
A strong increase in spending with airlines and on cars (both used and new) led to a 7.4% increase in expenditure in Transport and Communication, while spending also rose sharply in the Household Goods category (11.9%).
Country manager for Ireland with Visa Europe Conor Langford said June was a record month for spending in Ireland, as confidence returns to the economy.
“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,” he said.
Senior economist at Markit Paul Smith, said the data showed that economic growth was continuing into the second half of the year.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, the number of new cars licensed in the first six months of the year has jumped by more than a quarter compared to 2014.
New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that car sales continue to soar, with 78,660 new cars licensed in the first half of this year — a 26.3% rise compared with the same period last year. Almost 4,000 new cars were licensed for the first time last month — an increase of 15.8% on the same month last year.