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With Christmas Day a mere five weeks away, new research from CommBank forecasts festive spending to peak at $17.8 billion in the five weeks between 1 December 2014 and 6 January 2015.
According to the survey of 1000 Australians, while many consumers expected to have the bulk of their festive shopping done by today, the average Aussie is forecast to spend an additional $1079 over the coming weeks.
The majority of spending will go on gifting and festive vacations, accounting for $7.6 billion and $4.6 billion respectively. Other areas Aussies are expected to spend a large portion of their festive budget include the Boxing Day sales ($2.6 billion) and entertaining friends and family ($1.7 billion).
Online retailers can expect a busy start to December, with the research revealing six million Aussies plan to do their online gift shopping on 1 December 2014. However, the vast majority (72 per cent) of shoppers will purchase gifts at bricks and mortar stores, with festive spending expected to peak at shopping malls on Saturday 13 December 2014 when 3.2 million consumers are forecast to hit the shops.
Diana Mousina, Economist, Commonwealth Bank, says “While consumers have been sending mixed signals on their spending intent in recent weeks, our research shows consumers are planning to open their wallets and spend big in the lead up to, and directly after, Christmas Day.
“Interestingly, while consumers expected to have completed the bulk of their Christmas shopping by today, our research shows they are still planning to spend an additional $1079 and the bulk of that will go on gifts. Other areas we’re expecting consumers to spend include entertaining friends and family, and eating and drinking in and out of the home.”
Although nationwide consumers are expected to spend an average of $1079 each, there are some interesting differences in spending across the main states. Those in New South Wales are expected to spend the most, with an average spend per person of $1339, largely driven by higher than average spending on gifts, vacations and the Boxing Day sales. While those in Queensland will spend the least per person, with an average spend of $779. This is largely attributed to lower than average spending on vacations, entertaining friends and family, and eating and drinking out.
According to the research, spending will differ significantly across the country.
Other interesting insights include:
While more than half (57 per cent) of Aussies set themselves a budget for the festive season, nearly one in five (19 per cent) don’t stick to it. On average these consumers will overspend by $284, which nationwide means Aussies are overspending by $507 million.
Of the Aussies who do stick to their budget, the main ways they avoid overspending include:
With 77 per cent of Aussies hoping to avoid overspending this year, CommBank has compiled some tips to manage spending responsibly during the holiday season:
Notes to editors
National consumer expenditure breakdown (2013 versus 2014):
The following figures are based on the projected spending during Christmas 2013 (between 1 December 2013 and 6 January 2014) and Christmas 2014 (between 1 December 2014 and 6 January 2015).
About the research (consumer):