Spending on credit and debit cards fell slightly last month, but is still up sharply from a year ago, according to the latest credit and debit card statistics from the Central Bank.
Total card spending, including ATM withdrawals, fell 1% or €61 million to €6.9 billion in February compared to January.
However, compared to February 2021, when some public health restrictions were still in place, card spending increased by 30%, or €1.6 billion.
Daily card statistics compiled by the Central Bank show that through March 20 spending was largely unchanged from February.
In-store spending rose 2% in February from January to 3.1 billion euros.
It was up 51% from February last year.
Online spending fell 5% from January to 2.8 billion euros.
That’s up 16% from February last year.
Some of the incremental spending in categories that thrived during public health restrictions, like groceries, was down 3% on an annual basis, while spending on electrical appliances was down 17%.
However, spending on clothing increased by 54%.
Spending on services resulting from restrictions like transport increased by 408%, while spending on accommodation increased by 408%.
Spending in restaurants and restaurants increased by 169%.
Cash has made a partial recovery but its use remains down from the pre-pandemic period.
ATM withdrawals increased by 20% to 972 million euros compared to last year, but remained 28% lower than in February 2020.