Household spending up on hotels and dining
A wave of consumer confidence is boosting sales across a number of sectors, according to credit card company Visa.
Its latest gauge of consumer spending shows that households spent more on restaurants, hotels and shopping last month than they did in the same period in 2014.
Consumer spending on all payment types increased by just over 6pc year-on-year in July, improving on the 5.6pc increase in June, the Irish Consumer Spending Index from Visa Europe noted.
Spending rose by close to 8pc on hotels, restaurants and bars, while shoppers also spent more on clothes and shoes, rising by 7.8pc year-on-year.
The data is the latest positive economic report that suggests the strong economic recovery is likely to extend into the second half of the year.
It comes just days after official revised data showed that the economy grew by 5.2pc last year, quicker than previously recorded, and by 6.5pc in the first three months of this year.
Conor Langford, Visa Europe's country manager for Ireland, said the data is another positive indication of the recovering economy.
"Our July data shows that despite the bad weather across the country in July, consumers have remained very bright in their outlook," he said.
"People have been enjoying their nights out, whether it's on the town in restaurants or pubs, or escaping the bad weather by catching a movie in the cinema. A trend of fashion makeovers is also underway, with spending on clothing and shoes increasing for the ninth month in a row."
Visa Europe noted that the latest rise in household expenditure was broad-based, with the majority of monitored sectors seeing expansions over the year.
Online shopping also enjoyed strong growth, with internet spend increasing by 11.4pc compared with July of last year, although the rate of expansion eased slightly from June's figure of 13.5pc.
Visa said spending on household goods rose 10.8pc and 12pc on recreation and culture. Health and education spending also increased, by 4.3pc, and by 9pc on food, beverages and tobacco.
Data released by the CSO last week showed that the overall size of the economy here has now exceeded the pre-crash peak of 2007, although population growth means economic activity per head remains less than it was in the boom.