Debit and credit card spending down in June despite surge from teenagers

Fast-food purchases dipped by 5%, pub spending fell by 4% and outlay in restaurants declined by 1%, Bank of Ireland says

Debit and credit card spending dropped by 6 per cent in June compared with May, with teenagers the only age group to loosen the purse strings, according to the latest Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse.

While outlay fell across both the domestic retail and social sectors, teenagers bucked the trend, recording a 23 per cent rise in outlay compared with the previous month as secondary school classroom doors closed for the summer holidays.

Notably, the teenage cohort was alone in recording a spike in spending across the different age groups tracked by the bank. Those aged 66 and older reduced their spending by 8 per cent in June, while there were also reductions for 56-65-year-olds (7 per cent) and 36-45-year-olds (6 per cent).

June proved to be a subdued month, however, across many business sectors, in keeping with the same month’s figures last year, where total spending dropped 4 per cent.


Not a single county recorded a positive spend in June, with Dublin (7 per cent), Mayo (6 per cent), Monaghan (6 per cent), Kerry (6 per cent) and Donegal (4 per cent) all experiencing spending dips compared with the previous month.

Holiday season saw a number of people travelling abroad, with spending by Irish cardholders rising in Croatia (71 per cent), Greece (55 per cent), Italy (32 per cent), Portugal (22 per cent) and Spain (13 per cent).

Social spending in June fell by 5 per cent overall, with fast-food purchases dipping by 5 per cent, pub spending falling by 4 per cent and outlay in restaurants declining by 1 per cent.

Bank of Ireland head of customer journeys and SME markets Jilly Clarkin said it was “no surprise” to see teenagers leading the way in the spending stakes given schools started to close during the month.

“The overall spending drop in June was also predictable, as it reflects the same trend as last year,” she said. “July and August are normally busy months, with all schools closed, children at summer camps and families enjoying well-deserved breaks across Ireland.

“People will also leave the country and spend abroad so, based on last summer, we may not see a big spike in overall spend next month either. However, July last year saw an uplift in social spending, so hopefully, some sectors see a boost in spending next month.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter