The European Consumer Expenditure Barometer of Visa Europe is ascertaining decreases in households' expenditures in the first quarter of 2011 in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
On the contrary, at European Union level, the consumer expenditure increased by 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared to an increase of 0.3 percent during the fourth quarter in 2010. The increase was the highest to be recorded from mid-2006.

German households led this increase in consumer expenditure in the EU, since merchants in Germany took advantage of the healthy economy and the increased employment levels.