Sunday 21 October 2018

Sharpest rise for 18 months as face-to-face shop spending surges over 5pc

*Online sales also saw a bounce due to Cyber Monday

Black Friday shopping scenes on Grafton Street, Dublin.
Black Friday shopping scenes on Grafton Street, Dublin.

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Consumer spending surged last month, driven by Black Friday sales.

Spending in shops shot up by 5pc, the sharpest rise for a year and a half.

Online spending was also up strongly.

The latest Visa spending index indicates that online sales also saw a bounce due to Cyber Monday, when websites of retailers offered bargains.

The rise of 5pc in November, compared with the same month last year, was much faster than the 0.7pc recorded in October.

In fact, the expansion was the strongest since September 2016.

The index measures expenditure across all payment types such as cash, cheques and electronic payments.

Growth in expenditure was broad-based between the spending in physical shops and e-commerce channels, with the expansion slightly faster on the high street.

Face-to-face spending rose by 5.1pc over the last year, the sharpest increase for a year-and-a-half.

This spending in shops has now risen in three successive months as the high street mounts a recovery following an 11-month sequence of decline.

And in November e-commerce spending rebounded following the previous month’s reduction. Expenditure was up by 4.8pc year-on-year, as Irish online shoppers sought out deals on Cyber Monday.

Spending in the clothing and footwear sector increased by 5.6pc on an annual basis in November.

Country manager for Visa in this country Philip Konopik said: “November was a bumper month for Irish consumer spending, demonstrating a real uplift after October’s more subdued picture when growth slowed to a six month low.”

He said the November data bodes well for December, which is traditionally one of the biggest months for consumer spending during the year.

Meanwhile, figures gathered by representative body Retail Excellence show there has been a 30pc rise in mobile browsing compared with a year ago.

Manager for e-commerce at Retail Excellence David Campbell said the data demonstrates that mobile usage by consumers browsing with intent to buy is continuing to grow.

He said pharmacy and cosmetics are experiencing accelerated growth.

But he said challenges remain from the huge leak of spend to retailers operating outside of Ireland.

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