Consumer spending dropped 5% in April, according to new debit card data from Bank of Ireland.

It reveals that spending in the retail and grocery sectors was down compared to the previous month, while spending across travel, recreation and accommodation was up.

Consumers spent 4% more on airline tickets in April, toll charges rose by 15% as people took to the roads once travel restrictions eased, while cruise line spending recorded a 14% monthly increase.

The data shows that spending on accommodation was up 11%, while golf course spending rose 56%.

Meanwhile, spending in zoos and aquariums was up 168% in April, as people started planning for life beyond lockdown.

Dublin Zoo (+1,367%) and Fota Wildlife Park (+619%) were the focus of such spending surges.

Overall, Bank of Ireland's April debit card spending levels paint a mixed picture, showing that people are pulling back in certain areas that had performed strongly in recent months.

The hospitality sector suffered a 4% drop, according to the data.

Spending in fast-food restaurants decreased by 5%, while the popularity of 'dine-at-home’ restaurant offerings suffered a drop of 7%.

However, bars offering a take-away service had a good month, recording a 10% rise on the previous month.