Rugby World Cup drives Irish spending in France while volumes at home slump

Rugby World Cup Drives Irish Spending In France While Volumes At Home Slump
Irish debit and credit card spending was up 9 per cent in France for September. Photo: Inpho
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Muireann Duffy

Card spending was down 8 per cent in September compared to the previous month as the end of summer put a dampener on consumer spending habits.

Figures from Bank of Ireland show last month continued the trend of a September spending dip, with similar monthly falls of between 6 and 8 per cent noted in the same months of 2021 and 2022.


However, bucking the overall trend was the volume of Irish card spending in France, as thousands of Irish fans travelled to the Rugby World Cup.

Card spending in France was up 9 per cent, making it the only country to show an improvement on August's figures.

Meanwhile, other popular destinations for Irish holidaymakers noted large spending declines, including Greece (down 23 per cent), Portugal (down 18 per cent) and Spain (down 13 per cent).

Back at home, social spending took a heavy hit in September, falling by 14 per cent, while retail spending declined by 7 per cent.


Despite many rugby fans heading out to watch Ireland's World Cup games, pub spending was also down by 19 per cent in total, while restaurants and fast-food outlets noted a 17 per cent and 14 per cent reduction respectively.

Despite a gloomy picture for September, separate figures from the Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI) showed the number of online and mobile banking transactions grew 4 per cent in the first half of the year, reaching the highest level since the data series began in 2016.

Such transaction totalled 73.1 million in the first six months of 2023, while cheque usage continued its decline, dropping 12.1 per cent year-on-year to 7.5 million transactions from January to June.

The BPFI also noted that figures from the Central Bank for the second quarter of the year revealed card transactions totalled €22.7 billion, largely driven by spending on groceries and restaurants/dining.

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