Air travel, accommodation, takeaways and gambling are some of the areas that Irish people have been spending their money on since Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

New analysis on Bank of Ireland debit card transactions show that while grocery shopping was down by 2%, spend on other areas of retail jumped by 56%.

Bank of Ireland tracked debit card spending from June 8 to June 14 and compared it with the baseline average spend during the lockdown from March 28 to June 7. 

Today's figures show that with an increasing number of countries opening up again for foreign visitors, spend on air travel was up by 139% last week, although that was from a low level during lockdown. 

Holiday planning was also a focus for consumers with debit card spend on booking accommodation up 101%. 

With more restaurants and cafes turning to takeaway and delivery services, spend by consumers was up 63%, and the return of horseracing in Ireland saw a 57% increase in spend on gambling. 

Meanwhile spending on transport, including trains, buses and taxis rose by 115%, as increasing numbers of shoppers travelled to urban centres. 

But debit card spending on entertainment dropped by 11%, with gaming down 21%, in a sign that people were not spending so much time in their homes as restrictions eased.



John O'Beirne, Director of Products at Bank of Ireland, said the first week of the Phase 2 easing in restrictions has highlighted a number of interesting trends in debit card spend. 

"While grocery spend was relatively flat last week following an extraordinary spike during lockdown, consumers are spending significantly more on retail. Holidays are clearly front-of-mind, and spend on air travel and accommodation increased significantly last week," he noted.

He said that Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact across health, society and the economy, impacting livelihoods and businesses across Ireland.

"As the country emerges from lockdown, hopefully consumer spending continues its resurgence, supporting businesses to bounce back as quickly as possible," he added.