Spending in pubs up 49% in February as customers spend €1.6m a day

Spending In Pubs Up 49% In February As Customers Spend €1.6M A Day Spending In Pubs Up 49% In February As Customers Spend €1.6M A Day
Pint of Guinness, © PA Wire/PA Images
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James Cox

Consumer spending in pubs during the month of February rose 49 per cent as the hospitality sector returned to full capacity following two years of restrictions, according to an AIB report.

On average, consumers spent €1.6 million a day in pubs through the month with those in Dublin spending €500,000 a day in pubs, more than in any other county.

Donegal consumers recorded the biggest increase in pub spending during the month, up 60 per cent on January, followed by those from Mayo (57 per cent) and Sligo (57 per cent).

Meanwhile, those between the ages of 25 and 34 recorded the biggest spending increase nationally when broken out by age as people started to socialise again.

The data was compiled from over one million card transactions carried out by Irish consumers during February 2022 and has been anonymised and aggregated.


All comparisons are based on February versus January unless otherwise stated. Data provided by AIB features one of the most comprehensive and accurate data sets on consumer spending in Ireland. Based on this data, AIB can reveal that:

  • Overall, spending during the month was up 7 per cent with contactless and digital wallet payments up 11 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. On average, total consumers spending on a daily basis was €78 million a day throughout the month of February.
  • Having seen a 170 per cent increase in spending during January, Airline spending fell 1 per cent, however spend in this sector still remains high given the large increase in spending during January. Meanwhile, Electronic spending also fell 9 per cent.
  • Restaurant and hotel spending was also up 18 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, while consumer spending on goods such as homewares, (+4 per cent) groceries (+8 per cent) and hardware (+3 per cent) was also up.
  • Grocery spending increased during the month (+8), despite the amount of transactions falling which may be a sign of inflation starting to impact consumers’ pockets.
  • The busiest day for spending still falls around the end of the month when many people are paid. During February, the busiest day for spending was Friday 25th.
  • E-Commerce spending declined during the month of February, down 1 per cent on January which may mean people are returning to stores rather than shopping online.

Speaking about the February Spend Trend, head of SME banking at AIB, John Brennan said: "After the full lifting of restrictions consumer spending in February across the hospitality sector and in general was up as people returned to socialising again.

"However, we are noticing the impact inflation is starting to have on consumers as they spend more on certain items such as groceries, despite transacting less. Given the geopolitical situation at the moment following the invasion of Ukraine, it’s expected that rising prices will be a continued feature of the economic landscape over the coming months for consumers.”

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