The value of retail spending by consumers in the Dublin economy continued to expand in the early stages of 2023.
The latest MasterCard SpendingPulse™, produced on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities, shows growth rates in Dublin retail spending of 1.6% QoQ and 5.8% YoY (SA). Q1 was the eighth consecutive quarter in which QoQ growth in retail spending was recorded, and underlines the post-pandemic economic recovery combined with soaring inflation rates for consumer products.
The QoQ expansion in spending in Q1 was driven by increases in expenditure across all segments covered in the MasterCard SpendingPulse™. Spending on Necessities grew rapidly (+3% QoQ) in what is likely a reflection of stubbornly high inflation rates for foodstuffs. Lower, but nonetheless positive, growth rates in spending were recorded in the Entertainment (+2% QoQ) and Household Goods (+1.5% QoQ) categories. This shows the ongoing willingness of consumers in Dublin to spend on the likes of hospitality and big-ticket household items, in spite of cost of living pressures. Sales of discretionary items via department and clothing stores rose at a more modest rate of 0.5% QoQ in the first quarter of the year.
Expenditure via eCommerce was to the fore in the quarter, with growth of 3.9% QoQ representing an acceleration of activity via online platforms. This follows a modest slowdown in expansion in this category in previous quarters.
The 5.8% YoY growth in retail spending in the Capital was primarily driven by a 21.1% increase in expenditure at hotels, bars and restaurants as hospitality’s recovery continued. Necessities expenditure also contributed growing at 8.4%.
At the national level, spending grew by 6% YoY. This was primarily driven by Entertainment spending which expanded at a rate of 47.9% YoY, surpassing pre-pandemic spending levels. Necessity sales and discretionary sales recorded growth of 8.9% and 6.4% YoY respectively.
Growth in spending via eCommerce platforms slowed nationally, increasing at a rate of 5.2% YoY, having equalled or exceeded 8% YoY in each quarter of 2022.
Mastercard SpendingPulse: Total Spend
Dublin Tourist Spending Increased in Q1
Spending levels amongst visitors to Dublin grew by 7.3% QoQ in the first quarter of 2023. At +18.2% QoQ spending by visitors from China grew at the fastest rate with spending from other key tourist markets of France, Germany and the UK growing at rates of between 6-7% QoQ. Expenditure by American tourists however recorded its second consecutive fall in the capital, declining 7.7% QoQ, despite a 10.2% increase nationally. Overall growth in tourism spending in Dublin exceeded the national level, where spending increased by 6.5% QoQ
Mastercard SpendingPulse: Dublin Tourist Spend
SpendingPulse™ is provided by MasterCard Advisors and produced in conjunction with Grant Thornton on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities to report on national and Dublin retail sales performance. Data is seasonally adjusted but is not adjusted for inflation. MasterCard SpendingPulse™ does not represent MasterCard financial performance.