Week 1 of Phase 2 sees consumers spending on retail, air travel, accommodation and gambling

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Debit card spend on air travel up 139%, accommodation up 101%, spend on restaurants & takeaways up 63%, gambling up 57% and retail spend up 56%

Analysis of Bank of Ireland debit card transactions over the first full week of Phase 2 easing of restrictions has revealed a spike in spending on air travel, passenger travel, accommodation, gambling and retail.

The analysis tracked debit card spending from June 8th - 14th and compared it with the baseline average spend during the lockdown, from 28th March - 7th June. While grocery shopping was down slightly by 2%, spend on other areas of retail was up by 56%.

With an increasing number of countries internationally opening up again for foreign visitors, spend on air travel was up by 139% last week, albeit from a low level during lockdown. In a similar trend, holiday planning was clearly a focus for consumers with debit card spend on booking accommodation up 101%. With more and more restaurants and cafes turning to takeaway and delivery services, spend by consumers was up 63%, and the return of horse racing in Ireland dovetailed with a 57% increase in spend on gambling.

Spend on passenger transport (trains, buses, taxis) was up 115%, as increasing numbers of shoppers travelled to urban centres. Meanwhile, debit card spend on entertainment dropped by 11%, with gaming down 21%, perhaps a sign that people weren't spending so much time in their homes as restrictions eased.

Debit card spend 8th June - 14th June (compared to average spend 28th March - 7th June inclusive)

Up ↑ Down ↓
Air travel up 139% Entertainment down 11%
Passenger transport up 115% Gaming down 21%
Accommodation up 101% Video streaming services down 13%
Restaurants & takeaways up 63% Groceries down 2%
Retail up 56%

Discussing the key trends, John O' Beirne, Director of Products, Bank of Ireland said: "The first week of the Phase 2 easing in restrictions has highlighted a number of interesting trends in debit card spend. While grocery spend was relatively flat last week following an extraordinary spike during lockdown, consumers are spending significantly more on retail. Holidays are clearly front-of-mind, and spend on air travel and accommodation increased significantly last week.

"A natural impact from the easing of restrictions is that we are leaving our homes more often, and this is clearly reflected in more of us spending on passenger transport services and spending less on entertainment such as streaming services. Driven by takeaway services, spend on restaurants also increased last week albeit compared to a low baseline during the lockdown, and hopefully this trend continues.

"Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact across health, society and the economy, impacting livelihoods and businesses across Ireland. As the country emerges from lockdown, hopefully consumer spending continues its resurgence, supporting businesses to bounce back as quickly as possible."

This press release was sourced from Bank of Ireland on 17-Jun-2020.