April Consumer Spending Soars in Sun Soaked Destinations

  • Spending spikes in popular holiday hotspots like Greece & Portugal
  • Monthly spending drops across Social and Retail sectors
  • Cavan consumers spent the least in April

Bank of Ireland debit and credit card analysis for April revealed a notable spending increase in popular foreign hotspots, as travellers soaked up some pre-summer sun. Card spending in Greece rose by a massive 162%, with Portugal (+106%), Turkey (+100%), Spain (+45%) and Italy (+38%) all seeing spend increase by Irish consumers in April.

Overall though, April saw a fall in social (-4%) and retail (-3%) spending as consumers held back somewhat when compared to March’s spending levels. With cost of living pressures hitting home overall April spending levels were 2% down on March, with a fall recorded in grocery spend (-4%) and only one county (Longford) posting a slight monthly spending uptick.

While Longford recorded just a modest spending rise of 0.4%, they were still splashing out when compared to locals in Cavan (-4%) – where inhabitants recorded the lowest nationwide spending levels in April. Spending also dropped in counties such as Cork (-2%), Dublin (-2%), Mayo (-2%) and Kildare (-2%).

Following major spikes in social spending in March, driven by the novel introduction of a double bank holiday, April spending in this area was more sedate. Restaurant outlay was only up 1% during the month (following a 14% rise in March), while pub spending fell (-5%). People looked instead booked trips to tourist attractions and exhibits (+65%) or went to the cinema (+24%) to spend time with their families and entertain the kids.

Commenting on April’s spending data, Jilly Clarkin, Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland said: “April’s spending painted a mixed picture across the economy, with social (-4%) and retail (-3%) spending levels declining whilst spending in a number of European countries and in travel agents (+8%) rose. We can also see from our research that spending was flat or down in April across every age group, except amongst teenagers (13 – 17 years old) who posted an 8% spending spike.

We are also seeing another interesting trend emerge following the gradual reopening of shops nationwide as the public health restrictions are lifted. A clear pattern over the past 3 months shows us that the ‘In-Person’ percentage of overall spend continues to climb (57% in February, 58% in March, 60% in April), leading to continuous drops in online spending. It’s a positive sign for retailers across the country, that people are getting out and about again to visit their neighbourhood shops and putting more money back into their local economies.”

BoI debit and credit card transactions – April 2022 vs. March 2022


  • Accommodation +16%
  • Clothing +9%
  • Sporting Goods +9%
  • Restaurants +1%


  • Pubs -5%
  • Groceries -4%
  • Health & Beauty Spas -3%