Alcohol spend rises 1.2% to €6.3bn despite recession

People in Ireland are spending more money on alcohol despite the chronic financial crisis that continues to grip the nation, official figures have revealed.

From the Irish Examiner

While many reined in their spending on things like clothing, transport, and communication last year, people were less thrifty with booze.

CSO figures showed around €6.36bn was spent on alcohol ”” up 1.2% from the year before. That accounted for around 7.7% of total personal expenditure of €82.63bn on goods and services.

While spending on alcohol increased each year from 2009, spending on tobacco was down in 2012, falling by 2.4%, from €2.2bn in 2011 to €2.14bn last year.

The National Income and Expenditure 2012 report showed total personal expenditure in the year was €105.69bn. Taxes on personal income and wealth of around €23.06bn accounted for just over a fifth of that.

The remainder was spent on everything from food, beverages, and tobacco, to clothing and footwear; housing, fuel, and power, to transport and communication; recreation, entertainment and education, to household equipment and miscellaneous goods and services. Around €4.25bn was spent outside the State.

While personal spending on goods and services rose slightly each year from 2009, to €82.63bn in 2012, it remained significantly lower than its most recent height of €94.16bn in 2008, before the country was plunged into recession.

Alcohol Action Ireland said the CSO figures further highlighted the urgent need to address Ireland’s harmful relationship with alcohol.

“More than €6.3bn is a huge figure for a relatively small country like Ireland to spend on alcohol in a year, and it’s particularly worrying that our total spend on alcohol in 2012 increased for the second year in a row and was more than we spent on it than in any year since 2008,” said Conor Cullen, communications officer.