The number of AIB customers using their cards last month increased by 9 percent compared to May 2023.


Spending in pubs rose by 10 percent in May, reversing a 12 percent decrease from May 2023. Restaurant spending increased by 6 percent, compared to a 6 percent decrease last year. Hotel spending grew by 5 percent, in contrast to a 10 percent decrease in May 2023.


Leitrim saw the highest increase in pub spending at 20 percent, followed by Westmeath at 18 percent, and Kilkenny at 16 percent. For restaurants, Kilkenny led with a 9 percent Increase, followed by Mayo and Waterford at 8 percent each. In hotels, Longford residents increased their spending by 18 percent, followed by Offaly at 11 percent and Wexford at 10 percent.


The monthly data, compiled from 75 million anonymized and aggregated debit and credit card transactions in stores and online during May 2024, also showed an 8 percent rise in clothing spending. Carlow and Louth both saw a 12 percent increase, with Westmeath at 11 percent.


Electric vehicle charging spending surged by 107 percent compared to May 2023, while spending in bike shops increased by 6 percent month-on-month. Airline spending dropped by 6 percent, a reversal from a 2 percent increase in May 2023, and electronics spending decreased by 5 percent, compared to a 2 percent increase last year.


Spending on groceries, health and beauty, and hardware rose by 5 percent, and spending on homewares increased by 4 percent.


John Brennan, head of SME Banking at AIB, commented on the data: “These figures are heartening for the hospitality sector in particular, as we head into the busy summer months. Spending in pubs, restaurants, and hotels is up, which is especially welcome given the decreases in these sectors last year. This positive trend bodes well for a strong summer season. Increased spending on clothing also indicates people are hopeful for warmer weather.”