With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to indulge in a light-hearted analysis of this year’s Christmas spending projections across Europe…
In the UK, average spending on food and drink is set to fall to £174 (down -8.62% on 2014). This is in line with the drop in supermarket bills this year, due to price wars and negative inflation. The UK will be demonstrating its love for Belgium at the dinner table, as Brussels sprouts prices have fallen to a five-year low.
It might seem that social inequalities in the UK are growing wider with gift expenditure set to rise from £322.70 to £331.77 per household in ABC1 groups but decrease from £310.80 to £289.07 in C2DE groups. It is, however, worth pointing out that the average British family spends ≈£836.58 on Christmas overall, more than any continental household (France ≈£530.71 per family, Spain ≈£499.32 and Germany ≈£393.47…). It was a wise move to reject the euro. Enough said.
Money is top of the Christmas list for 57% of Greek consumers.* However, there might be some disappointed Greeks gathering in front of the Christmas tree this year, given that the humble book will be the offering of 56% of shoppers. Maybe they should send them to Spain. 70% of Spanish consumers declare that ‘el factor educativo’ is critical when choosing a present for children.
So, what should you do if you’re not going to receive a cheque this Christmas (from either your nearest and dearest or the IMF)? Be thrifty (économe !) like the French. 50% of French shoppers have vowed to buy more promotional products than they did last year and 40% plan to spend over half their Christmas budget on such items. Nothing quite like a good rummage in the bargain bin or a search on the sale rail.
The Belgians have decided to adhere to the sacrifice principle to ensure that Christmas costs don’t spiral. While the amount of money spent on presents is anticipated to increase by a moderate +2.99%, the amount spent on socialising is expected to plummet by -29.58%.
When it comes to early present buying (=meticulous planning), which two countries come out on top? Germany and the United Kingdom. As if you couldn’t guess…
*In order to give a balanced overview, it must be pointed out that the Greek’s desire for money is less reflective of the European financial scene and more representative of western capitalism: in almost 70% of the countries polled by Deloitte, money was the most desired gift.
The facts and figures cited in this article were mainly obtained from Deloitte’s 18th annual Christmas survey on consumer spending in Europe and South Africa, as well as from YouGov’s annual Christmas spending report for the UK. All sources are listed below (accessed 16/12/15):