CONSUMERS: Irish spending more

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The average family in the Irish Republic is now spending 40 per cent more each week than they were ten years ago, according to new statistics

Figures produced in Ireland's latest Household Budget Survey also showed that people living in Dublin smoked and drank more, those based in the Irish midlands ate most, and those living near the Northern Ireland border spent more than others on fuel and light.

More than 75 per cent of the Irish now have telephones, compared with a little more than 50 per cent in 1987, and the ownership of microwave ovens has shot up from 6.3 per cent to nearly 47 per cent.