Bank of Ireland debit and credit card spending was down in September as Donegal consumers tightened their belts.
Spending in Donegal, Cavan and Louth fell by just 6% during the period, giving these counties the dubious honour of recording the shallowest spending falls.
Nationally, the total monthly spend fell 8% on the previous month with summer holidays, trips to the beach and hotel stays all consigned to recent history.
Not one county posted a positive spending score last month, with near double-digit drops recorded in Dublin (-9%), Sligo (-9%), Cork (-8%), Mayo (-8%) and Limerick (-8%).
Not surprisingly given the month that was in it spending in popular European destinations dropped, with outlay decreasing in Greece (-24%), Portugal (-22%), France (-19%) and Spain (-19%), while total airline spending fell by 8%.
Social spending fell back quite significantly in September, with the data revealing an overall 16% monthly decline.
Pub spending was down by 28%, outlay in restaurants dropped by 22%, and people ordered less from fast food outlets – which posted a spending decline of 18%.
As children returned to school and their parents made their way back to the office, September spending on hotels and resorts declined by 26%.
The Retail sector also witnessed spending falls in September, with very few areas spared. Spending on men’s and women’s clothing dropped by 12%, supermarket outlay fell by 10%, while florists (-9%) and beauty spas (-7%) both witnessed monthly spending declines.
More surprisingly given the enduring popularity of baked goods and sweet treats, spending in bakeries fell by 19% in September.
Jilly Clarkin is Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland.
“August is usually a month where workers shut down their laptops, children pack for an adventure and holiday season kicks into overdrive,” Ms Clarkin said.
“Therefore, it won’t come as much of a surprise for many people to see the September spending stats indicating that consumers nationwide pulled back a little last month and saved up for what could well be a harsh winter.”