IRISH CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS are preparing to spend €1.5bn on gifts, food and entertainment this year, the Irish Examiner reports.
A survey by Deloitte shows that on average, Irish households anticipate spending €1,020 more than their usual bills, with that figure breaking down into €650 for gifts, €250 for food and €120 for socialising outside the house.
Shoppers said they intended to spend over a third of their average expenditure on gifts online.
The Irish Times has produced a 12 sites of Christmas list for online shopping, and advises consumers to place their orders early to ensure delivery in time and recommends checking the returns policy of online retailers before committing to a purchase.
Negative view on future finances
Deloitte said this year’s results do not show a marked change in consumer sentiment in comparison with previous years, but Irish Christmast spending is expected to be down by around 10% on 2009, and by 33% on 2008.
Deloitte also said that as the budget has not yet been announced, the survey did not factor it in. Shoppers said they intend to spend less this year because of the economic downturn and a belief that the situation will worsen, according to the Irish Independent.
Earlier this month, consumer sentiment data showed that the confidence of Irish consumers had fallen in October for the fourth month in a row and had hit its lowest level for 17 months. The ESRI said the fall in consumer confidence was largely due to a “more negative perception by consumers of the outlook for their household finances over the next 12 months”.
A poll of 20,000 consumers across Europe showed similar results for anticipated Christmas spending, bar in Greece where over 50% of people surveyed said they intended to spend less for gifts, food and drink, and entertainment, Reuters reports.
Irish figures are almost twice the European average of €590, putting us second to Luxembourg.