Irish consumer spending surges despite Omicron, hospitality curfew

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DUBLIN, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Irish credit and debit card spending was 8% higher year-on-year in December even as a surge in COVID-19 cases led to a curfew on the hospitality sector from the middle of the month, central bank data showed on Friday.

Spending in all sectors increased, the central bank said. The economy was open for most of the corresponding period in December 2020 before restaurants, pubs and some shops were ordered to close completely on Christmas Eve and department stores urged to defer in-store holiday sales.

Separate and more detailed Central Statistics Office figures also showed on Friday that retail sales volumes rose 0.6% month-on-month in November when the economy was largely open and were 10.9% up on pre-pandemic levels in the same period of 2019.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Photo – A woman cycles past a branch of AIB (Allied Irish Bank) beside well known Dublin Pub Dohwny & Nesbitt in Dublin, Ireland. EPA/Aidan Crawley

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