Figures from the Central Bank show the dramatic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on spending during April, with record drops in spending on transport and accommodation.
Overall, credit and debit card spending in April fell by more than €2.2 billion or a record 35% compared with the same month last year.
The drop for credit cards was 51%, with debit card spending down 20% and ATM withdrawals falling by 58%. These were all record figures.
While the Central Bank’s most up-to-date numbers show that card spending has picked up since an easing of restrictions in May, it is still 13% lower than it was in the first week of March.
The bank’s figures show that spending on groceries in April rose by 20% or €190m compared with the same month last year, though the level of spending was slightly lower than in March.
Transport spending slumped by 87% from a year earlier, however, while spending on accommodation plunged by 91% as travel was restricted and hotels closed. Spending on restaurants or eating out fell by 71%, while entertainment spending dropped 50%.
While online spending was down by 4% compared with April last year, it accounted for nearly half of all retail card spending during the month, compared with an average of 39% throughout 2019.