No sign of retail slow down as spending chases rising prices

Retail spending in Dublin rose again in the three months to the end of March, in part because consumers grappled with inflationary price hikes and were forced to pay more for less.

the latest MasterCard spending report, produced on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, revealed that retail spending in the first three months of the year rose by 1.6pc compared to the final quarter of 2022.

This reflected the eighth consecutive increase in quarterly spending across the county.

Spending in Dublin is also up 5.8pc compared to this time last year.

MasterCard attributed this growth to an increase in the cost of necessities, such as food, by spending on these essentials up 3pc from the final three months of the year.

In the past year, spending on these essentials has risen by 8.4pc.

Dublin shoppers also spent an additional 1.5pc on household goods in the first quarter of 2023.

Grocery inflation reached 16.8pc last month in Ireland, a fresh high.

Shoppers are now spending an additional €119.6m year-on-year, the Kantar research group reported.

Consumers across the county also purchased more online in the first few months of 2023, with e-commerce spending up to 3.9pc.

Consumers in Dublin increased spending on entertainment over the quarter, with spending on hospitality up 2pc compared to the previous quarter.

Spending in hotels, bars and restaurants soared 21.1pc compared to the same period in 2022 as both Dubliners and visitors looked to spend on social opportunities despite cost-of-living challenges.

The return of international visitors provided a welcome boost to the Dublin economy as tourist spending increased by 7.3pc compared to Q4 2022.

Spending by visitors from China grew at the fastest rate, up 18.2pc in the quarter.

This was ahead of other tourist markets, including France, Germany and the UK, each of which recorded an increase of between 6pc and 7pc.

American tourists opted to spend away from the capital, with expenditure from this cohort falling 7.7pc in the first quarter of the year. However, spend from American visitors jumped by 10pc nationally.

“Entertainment spending showed significant increases over Q1 2022 as travel and tourism continued to recover,” global head of SpendingPulse Michael McNamara said.

“Both discretionary and necessities spending showed solid growth rates in the mid-single digits while household goods spending lagged somewhat in Dublin as well as across Ireland.”

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