Debit and credit card spending plummet as deposits hit new record

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Irish consumers’ total card spending and ATM withdrawals fell by € 210m or 3% last month as households increased their deposits by more than € 1bn, new figures show of the Central Bank.

Despite the drop in spending in September compared to August, total spending per card last month stood at 7.5 billion euros, a 15% increase from September last year.

Data shows the decline in spending continues into October, with average daily spending in October down 2% from September.

Last month’s spending on restaurants and accommodation fell from August highs, falling 16% and 26% respectively at the end of the summer. Conversely, education expenditure increased sharply, increasing by 93% over one month, with the resumption of the school year.

Clothing spending is also down sharply, down 11% to € 305 million.

Online spending is up for the third month in a row, increasing 5% to € 136 million month-over-month and accounting for 46% of all card spending.

Separate data from the Central Bank shows that household net deposits hit a record 135 billion euros after another billion euros in net inflows were recorded last month. This compares to a € 56 million decrease in deposits in August. In annual terms, net household deposits increased by € 13.5 billion or 11.1%.

Net loans to households increased by € 328m in September, continuing the positive growth recorded since July. In annual terms, net lending increased by € 505 million, or 0.6%, in the year ending September. This contrasts with the 12 months to September 2020, when annual net lending declined by € 32 million.

Consumer loans saw a net increase of 38 million euros in September 2021, a slightly smaller increase than the previous August. On an annual basis, repayments exceeded new loans by 123 million euros or 1.1%. This is in line with a trend of negative 12-month sliding amounts for consumer loans.

Home loans increased by € 306 million in net terms in September. However, the central bank said quarter-end figures are still higher due to seasonal effects. The annual growth rate for the year at the end of September remained positive, with loans up by € 760 million or 1.1%.


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