Spending on debit and credit cards fell in July for the third month in a row, according to figures published today by the Central Bank.

Total card spending fell by 2%, or €137m, to €8 billion in July compared to June.

ATM and point-of-sale transactions fell by 4%. Total retail spending using debit and credit cards fell by 3%, or €87m, to just over €3 billion.

On an annual basis, card spending is still 11%, or €808m, higher than in July 2021 when spending was still held back by some Covid-19 restrictions.

Spending on services is up 22% on a year ago, with spending on transport up 109%.

On a monthly basis, the only services sector to have seen an increase in spending was accommodation which rose by 5%.

Card expenditure by Irish cardholders outside the country rose by 127% compared to last year to €535m.

"Social spending" which includes restaurants and entertainment rose by 2% in July compared to June and is 35% and 18% higher on an annual basis respectively.

Within the retail sector, all categories fell in July compared to June, except for groceries, which remained unchanged. On an annual basis, purchases of electrical goods are down 15%.

Online spending was down 4% in the month but is up 19% on an annual basis and accounted for 44% of overall point-of-sale spending.

In-store spending rose by 9% on an annual basis and accounts for 56% of card spending.

ATM transactions remain "subdued", according to the Central Bank. They remain 14% below pre-pandemic levels.