Christmas starts early as shoppers splash out on Black Friday deals

Card spending in November jumped 13% on last year, says Bank of Ireland

Card spending in November jumped 13 per cent on the same month last year despite the cost of living crisis as shoppers got ahead on their Christmas shopping.

Bank of Ireland’s latest debit and credit card spending statistics show a 99 per cent jump in the volume of spending on toys compared with the previous month, with spending on clothing (+37 per cent) and groceries (+15 per cent) both up from October.

With Black Friday falling at the end of the month, card spending on electronics climbed 56 per cent from October. The volume of spending on furniture (+36 per cent) and in department stores (+32 per cent) also increased markedly as the Christmas rush began in earnest.

Overall, the volume of spending was 13 per cent ahead of November last year, when some Covid-related public health restrictions remained in place.


Spending in restaurants was up 3 per cent on last November with consumers “making up for lost time”, according to Jilly Clarkin, head of SME markets at Bank of Ireland.

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By county, Bank of Ireland said “major spending rises” were recorded in Galway (+12 per cent), Donegal (+10 per cent), Louth (+10 per cent), Clare (+8 per cent) and Meath (+8 per cent) compared with October.

In Longford, meanwhile, the only county to record negative spending in October, card spending increased 16 per cent in the month of November.

The figures contrast with the Central Statistics Office (CSO’s) retail sales index, published in late November, which showed that the overall volume of retail sales had declined on an annual basis in each of the six months to the end of October, with consumers tightening their belts amid soaring price inflation.

Ms Clarkin said that the latest Bank of Ireland figures show that “savvy shoppers were quick out of the blocks in November, launching their Christmas shopping plans” early.

“The data suggests that after a couple of years where Christmas was curtailed for many due to pandemic restrictions, people are making up for lost time, and making sure that Christmas 2022 will be an extra-special one,” she said.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times