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Irish consumer spending dips despite Rugby World Cup victories

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The Bank of Ireland (BoI) revealed an 8% decline in consumer spending for September 2023, continuing a post-summer trend observed since 2021. The ‘back to school’ period was identified as a primary factor for this downturn, with significant declines noted in social and retail sectors.

Jilly Clarkin, head of customer journeys and SME markets at the bank, reported a 14% drop in social spending and a 7% fall in the retail sector. Travel spending also took a hit, with car rentals down by 30%, accommodation by 21%, bus travel by 14%, and toll fees by 6%.

Spending among teenagers fell by a notable 20%, with reductions also seen among the 18-25-year-olds (6%) and the 36-45-year-olds. Regions including Donegal, Kildare, Laois, Mayo, and Meath experienced spending drops of up to 9%.

The entertainment sector suffered as well, with a striking 54% decrease in cinema spending. Florists and barber shops also saw less business, recording drops of 8% and 7%, respectively.

Despite the overall decline, Irish consumer spending in France saw an uptick of 9%. This surge can be attributed to fans attending Rugby World Cup matches in Bordeaux, Nantes, and Paris. However, even though viewership for Ireland’s match against South Africa was high, no increase in business spending was noted.

Food and drink establishments also felt the pinch. Pub spending decreased by 19%, restaurants by 17%, and fast-food outlets by 14%. Despite Ireland’s Rugby World Cup victories, such as the clash against the Springboks, overall card spending declined.

Clarkin suggested that October’s expenditure could potentially see an increase if Andy Farrell’s team progresses to the Rugby World Cup final stages.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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