Consumer spending increases in January

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Irish consumers continued to increase their spending at a strong pace in January 2016. Results from the latest Visa Europe Consumer Spending Index show that there was a larger increase in face-to-face expenditure in January than seen at the end of the year, with the rate of expansion accelerating to +5.6 per cent.This was the second-sharpest growth rate since the series began.

Consumer spending has been helped by higher wages and reduced unemployment. Wages rose 2.7 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2015, while the rate of unemployment is at 8.6 per cent, the lowest since the end of 2008.

The index also showed that there was no slowdown in consumer expenditure in January after a year-on-year increase of +7.2 per cent was recorded during the month across all payment methods. This was faster than the increase of +6.5 per cent seen in December and the second-sharpest expansion since the series began in September 2014.

Philip Konopik, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa Europe said: “The year-on-year increase in consumer spending during January is a very positive performance, particularly as it builds on growth through 2015.

“It is reflective of the improvement in overall consumer confidence, particularly in terms of sales of big ticket items like cars and holidays in January. The real highlight is that all sectors in the economy benefited from the rise in consumer spending.”

 The full report can be read online at www.visaeurope.com/newsroom

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