Pubs And Restaurants Led February Spending Increases, Says AIB

By Dave Simpson
Pubs And Restaurants Led February Spending Increases, Says AIB

AIB has revealed that average daily spending increased by 5% in February, compared to the previous month, with pubs and restaurants leading the way.


The data was compiled from approximately 60 million debit and credit card transactions in store and online during February 2023 and has been anonymised and aggregated.

The majority of spending was online (36%), followed by chip and PIN (33%), digital wallet (18%) and contactless (12%). The most money was spent on Friday 24 February, coinciding with payday for many people, while the least was spent on Sunday 19 February – the last Sunday before payday.

Spend Trend February 2023 reveals that (all data points compared to the previous month, unless otherwise stated):

  • the overall total spend was €2.6 billion;
  • average daily spending increased, month on month, by 5% in February, to €93 million;
  • Roscommon had the largest increase in average daily spend, at 7%, compared to Cork, which had the lowest increase, at 4%;
  • grocery spend accounted for 18% of the overall spend, followed by health and beauty (5%), hardware (5%), restaurants (5%), clothing (4%), airline travel (3%), hotels (3%), pubs and off-licences (2%), electronics (2%) and homewares (1%);
  • pubs and restaurants saw the biggest increase in average daily spend – at 26% and 15%, respectively – after significant decreases in January – of 40% and 23%, respectively – while the average daily spend on airline travel fell by 17% in February, following a spike in January, of 97%;
  • women spent twice as much as men on health and beauty, while men spent almost twice as much as women on pubs and off-licences;
  • the biggest increase in average daily spend on groceries was in Cavan and Clare, at 12%, while the biggest increases in average daily spend in pubs and off-licences was in Monaghan and Mayo – at 36% and 33%, respectively – followed closely by Sligo, Westmeath and Cavan;
  • the biggest increase in average daily spend on health and beauty was in Waterford, at 15%, followed closely by Donegal and Offaly, at 14% and 13%, respectively;
  • spend among men and women was evenly split, with men and women spending similar amounts across the different payment types (online, digital wallet, contactless, chip and PIN);
  • people aged 35-44 accounted for most of the overall spend (26%), followed by those aged 25-34 (22%), 45-54 (20%), 55-64 (13%), 65 and over (10%) and under 25 (9%); and
  • those aged 25-34 and 35-44 had the biggest increase in average daily spend, month on month, at 6%, while, conversely, those aged under 25 had the smallest increase in average daily spend, at 3%.

Statement By Head Of SME Banking At AIB

Speaking about the data, John Brennan, head of SME banking at AIB, said, “The impact of inflation on spending patterns is still evident. The increase in spending in February reflects a return to more normal habits, following a quieter January. This is especially true for pubs and restaurants, where there were the biggest month-on-month increases. People continue to choose to shop online for the most part, however, this is followed very closely by in-store, using chip and PIN. There was a 12% increase in people choosing to use their digital wallets to pay, as more of our customers are using their digital devices to pay for goods and services. These data insights are crucial to allow us to continue to support our customers now and into the future.”


Read More: Service Sector Activity Increased In January, According To Latest AIB PMI Survey Data

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