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Irish families to spend an average of €894 this Christmas

The flushest Europeans in town.

IRISH PEOPLE WILL spend about €1.5 billion celebrating Christmas this year, according to the latest Deloitte Christmas Spending Survey.

Although that is a 1.7 per cent decrease on 2012, it will still make us the biggest splurgers in Europe.

The research found that the average household will fork out about €894 on the festivities, including a medium of €484.81 on presents, €258.84 on food and €150.76 on socialising.

As Ireland exits the bailout, consumers are less pessimistic about the economy but there is a mixed sentiment towards spending power. About 16 per cent of consumers believe they have more to spend when compared with last year and another 36 per cent believe they have the same amount to spend, while 48 per cent of respondents indicated that they have less to spend.

The figures will enthuse retailers, says Deloitte partner Kevin Sheehan.

“That said, retailers will need to remain extremely focused on ensuring that they position themselves appropriately with consumers. The impact of austerity over the last number of years remains to the forefront of Irish consumers’ minds, and the survey results show that this is still having an effect on spending during the festive season,” he added.

Customers are planning to buy items that are on sale and focus on gifts that are useful. More than half of the respondents said they would try not to buy on impulse. They are also more influenced by loyalty and reward programmes when compared to their European counterparts.

Planning ahead is also important for Irish buyers with almost half finished their shopping before December.

While browsing online has become extremely popular across the population, the vast majority will continue to make purchases in store. The items most likely to be bought online are music, movies and books.

Luxembourg is the second highest spender with a household average of €825, while Finland is third with €692.

Poll: Have you started your Christmas shopping?

Read: Campaign aims to stop Irish shops from playing Christmas music too early

Related: These 10 toys are what kids want for Christmas this year*

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