Consumer spending in March rose by 20% compared to February, new data from Revolut’s Irish customers shows

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Consumer spending in March rose by 20% compared to February, new data from Revolut’s Irish customers shows

The March edition of the Revolut Report shows that overall spending by Revolut’s Irish customers in March 2021 was 20% higher than in February.

In particular, month-on-month spending on travel - domestic and international - increased significantly, the report shows.

Spending in every travel-related sector rose significantly from the previous month. Commuter transport spending was up 50% (with a 40% increase in the number of users); spending on buses was up 42%; on taxis 40%; on passenger railways 37%; on parking 27%; on tolls 25% (with a 23% increase in users); and on car rental 13%.

Spending related to foreign travel also increased: on airlines it was up 57%, with users up by 30%; at airports 44%; on travel agencies 32%; on hotels 28%; in duty free stores by 14%. Also, spending being carried out abroad (and in person) by Irish Revolut users rose by 16% from February - while the number of people spending overseas increased by 11%.

While the figures for travel are all still significantly below pre-pandemic levels, they suggest significant changes in consumer behaviour since February.

Monthly spending was also significantly higher in gyms and sports goods stores. Restaurants and bars also noted a month-on-month uplift, although overall spending levels remain significantly below pre-pandemic levels.

The March Revolut Report has also identified a notable return to spending on clothes. Across the five main clothing categories, Spending on clothing was up 26% this March compared to this February. The number of people spending on clothes was up 12% and the amount they spent also increased by 12% compared to February. The report also shows that 95% of this spending was carried out online.

For the same five clothing categories, spending on clothes during March 2021 was up 34% compared to March 2020. The number of people spending in these categories was down 21%: but the average amount they spent was up by 70%.

Overall, spending by Revolut’s Irish customers was 14% higher than in March 2020, when the country first went into lockdown. While the restrictions in place across both periods cannot be compared directly, the data may suggest a degree of public adaptation to spending during a lockdown.

Dr Paul Scanlon, Professor of Economics, Trinity College Dublin said  “Spending in March grew 14% from a year earlier, and while this rise could be attributable to improved sentiment, it also reflects a greater adjustment of spending patterns to a lockdown setting.  Interestingly, the UK has witnessed a surge in travel bookings by older, vaccinated customers, and the increase in travel spending observed by Revolut could reflect the start of a similar pattern here. Future Revolut reports will shed more light on this and the important issue of how the vaccination rollout impacts spending.

All spending data is adjusted for the growth in Revolut’s users over the past year.

Article Published: 09/04/2021