Irish consumers set to cut back slightly on Christmas spending

Irish consumers set to cut back slightly on Christmas spending

A new survey shows consumer spending is expected to decrease slightly this Christmas compared to last year.

According to research by Deloitte, Irish people are expected to cut back by around 1.7% this festive period.

Consumers in France (-0.9%), Portugal (-2.3%), Italy (-2.4%) and Greece (-12.8%) also intend on decreasing their spending.

However, Ireland remains one of the biggest spenders in Europe.

The majority of purchases will take place offline.

The findings show that the average spend per household in Ireland, excluding any spend on travelling, will be €894, with an average of €484.81 spent on gifts, €258.84 spent on food and €150.76 spent on socialising. In line with previous years, consumers in Luxembourg will spend €825 this year, followed by consumers in Finland, who will spend on average €692.

The report also indicates around 30% of Irish Christmas budgets will go on gifts, with 28% on food and 24% on socialising.

Sentiment with regards to spending power is mixed. Some 16% of consumers believe they have more to spend when compared with last year. 36% believe they have the same amount to spend, while 48% of respondents indicated that they have less to spend.

Looking to the next year, 26% expect their spending power to improve, while 33% believe that it will stay the same. 22% believe that it will deteriorate and 19% are unsure as to how their spending power will fare in the coming 12 months.

"The findings suggest that, as ever, Christmas is an extremely important time for the Irish and they will celebrate accordingly," said Kevin Sheehan, partner at Deloitte.

"While Irish consumers will spend marginally less, retailers will be enthused somewhat that the rate of decline in spending has stabilised and is in line with last year.

"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."

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