January was the busiest month for flight bookings this year as consumers sought to escape the winter blues, an annual review of AIB’s Spend Trend has revealed.
Wednesday, January 11 was the busiest individual day, the analysis reveals, with spending on flights at 57% above the daily average.
The annual spending review shows that overall spending was up 8% from January to November compared to the same 11 month period in 2022.
The analysis is based on data compiled from over 800 million card transactions carried out by AIB customers in store and online from January to November.
The higher spend is likely a reflection of a combination of higher prices, increased household consumption and greater use of cards over cash for spending purposes.
In the hospitality sector, August was the busiest month for restaurants with bank holiday weekends the biggest drivers of spend in pubs.
For hair salons, barbers and beauticians, May was the busiest month, when spend was 10% above the daily average.
It is believed the increased spend coincided with communion and confirmation celebrations in that month.
When it comes to entertainment and ticket sales, Swifties were outspent by Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen fans, the analysis reveals.
The highest spending day for ticket sales was Tuesday, July 25, the day Coldplay tickets went on pre-sale, followed by Monday November 6, when Bruce Springsteen tickets went on sale and Thursday July 20, when Taylor Swift tickets went on sale.
Black Friday – November 24 – was the top overall spending day of the year.
“2023 has seen strong performances for many sectors and it’s great to see the resilience of businesses that faced their fair share of challenges this year, from cost-of-living pressures to severe weather events and a wet summer,” John Brennan, AIB’s Head of SME Banking said.
“December is set to be a busy month for retail and hospitality meaning many businesses will finish the year out strong. And we know that in January, lots of people will be planning their spending for the year and booking holidays. These data insights will help those sectors to plan for 2024 and get the New Year off to a great start,” he added.