July spending was steady but teenagers are still splashing out

  • Overall July spending drops just 1% compared to June
  • Spending falls in Retail sector and on Transport services
  • Teenagers enjoying the summer holidays with major spending increase

Bank of Ireland debit and credit card spending in July was fairly flat, with a 1% total monthly fall recorded, as a mixed picture emerged across business sectors. While other age groups mainly decreased their July spending, teenagers are clearly enjoying their summer holidays with a major spending increase of +17% for the month, a trend which was also reflected in June.

There was an uptick in social (+2%) spending throughout July, whilst spending in pubs (+4%), restaurants (+3%) and in fast-food outlets (+1%) all recorded positive figures – having all posted negative spending stats in June. The improved July weather also saw a spending hike in cinemas of just +5%, a stark drop from June’s cinema spending rise of +25%.

Overall spending in the Retail sector was down 3% in total, with outlay on clothing (-10%) and groceries (-1%) both dropping, but spending on petrol (+5%) rose as forecourt fuel prices levelled off somewhat nationwide. Consumers were also evidently not keen to forego their sweet treats in July, with spending in bakeries (+5%) also rising.

On a regional level the spending patterns were broadly flat, with similar spending levels being recorded in Limerick (-3%), Cork (-2%), Kildare (-1%), Mayo (-1%), Donegal (-1%) and Waterford (-1%). Foreign spending rose in popular European hotspots like Croatia (+28%), Portugal (+9%) and Italy (+5%), whilst intense heatwaves in the likes of Cyprus (-13%) and Turkey (-3%) saw a spending drop off in both countries as some holiday makers opted to visit different destinations.

Commenting on July’s spending data, Jilly Clarkin, Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland said: “The sun was shining in July and we were doing less shopping and more socialising. However, the spending picture was a mixed one last month, with some sectors performing well and others flat lining or dropping slightly. This spending restraint was not just in a small number of counties, it was nationwide – and while the overall drop was small, it will be interesting to monitor over the coming months to determine if it’s becoming a trend.”

“For the Irish abroad, Croatia was leading the charge in month on month spending increases in popular holiday destinations. Another interesting element in July was that spending among teenagers (13 – 17 year olds) soared, with a notable monthly increase of +17%, which was similar to May and June trends and perhaps reflects a less cautious attitude than the rest of us”.

BoI debit and credit card transactions – July 2022 vs. June 2022


  • Accommodation +5%
  • Pubs +4%
  • Restaurants +3%
  • Fast Food +1%


  • Clothing -10%
  • Bus Lines -8%
  • Transport -5%
  • Groceries -1%