The busiest day for Christmas shopping is expected to be 23 December with Irish consumers expected to spend over €7m an hour, according to new data from AIB.

It reveals that men will outspend women by 8% on Christmas Eve, suggesting that men are more in favour of last minute shopping.

During the whole month of December, women outspend men by 23% the figures show, with the busiest shopping period for women being between the 19 and 23 December.

Traditionally, 8 December was when people came to Dublin to do their shopping, however the data reveals they now do their shopping in the capital on the Friday before Christmas.

This year, that is Friday 17 December.

Those coming to Dublin for the day are expected to spend almost half a million euro an hour throughout the day in shops and restaurants, the data reveals.

"It has never been more important that we support local business where possible this Christmas," said John Brennan, Head of SME Banking at AIB.

"Shopping local not only supports Irish businesses and jobs, it also ensures that the products we buy have less of a carbon footprint as they aren't traveling hundreds of kilometres before reaching us," he said.

Meanwhile, the figures show that in the run up to Christmas, consumers are spending over €18m a day on grocery shopping, with almost €6m being spent on clothes a day.

The AIB data was compiled from over one million card transactions carried out by Irish consumers online during December 2020.