"Households continued to display an element of caution in their spending in May"
New figures suggest that the pace of increases in expenditure across all payment types in Ireland slowed in May.
It expanded by 0.6% during the month, that was marginally less than the 0.7% growth seen in April, according to the Visa Irish Consumer Spending Index.
The main source of growth was online shopping, which was 7% higher, year-on-year.
'Face to face' spending is down by 2.5% in the past 12 months. That was the eight month in a row of sale declines on the high street.
Philip Konopik, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa said: "Irish consumer spending continued to rise on an annual basis in May, but very slowly and in stark contrast with the same period last year where we saw a +9.2% year-on-year increase.
"On a positive note, Clothing and Footwear saw a year-on-year increase of +0.8%, marking the second consecutive month of growth for that sector. An encouraging trend given the category was tracking a decline in spending for seven of the previous eight months."
Andrew Harker, Senior Economist at IHS Markit added, "Irish households continued to display an element of caution in their spending in May, with Visa’s CSI signalling one of the weakest performances in the past three years.
"The high street is being hit hardest as people search out bargains online in the face of stronger inflationary pressures, with Face-to-Face spending down for the eighth month in a row during May. This contrasts with a pick-up in growth across eCommerce, which continues to drive the overall expansion."