The Economics of Christmas: Europe Leader in Spending

Written by | Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

According to the Christmas Survey (2012) conducted by Deloitte, NRF’s Holiday Survival Kit, and HSBC Christmas Spending Survey, Christmas is probably financially most-demanding period of the year, but also the best time for businessmen. Even during the still lingering eurocrisis, European consumers do not have to be ashamed for the amount of money they spend on Christmas shopping.
Europe’s as well as world’s leader in Christmas shopping spree is Ireland, which spends almost 1000 euro per household on Christmas gifts. The second position belongs to Switzerland, where a representative household spends 817 euro, and the third position belongs to Luxembourg with 815 euro spent on Christmas in total. The first “top twenty-one” includes only four non-European countries – South Africa (9th position, 581 euro), the United States (10th position, 560 euro), Russia (18th position, 382 euro), and Ukraine (19th position, 332 euro). Interestingly, the first twenty-one leaders in Christmas spending include also three “new” EU members – Slovakia (13th position, 522 euro), Czech Republic (16th position, 426 euro), and Poland (20th position, 312 euro) – whereas all the remaining rankings are taken by the “old” EU members. Moreover, Christmas-related expenditure in the Netherland, the 21st spender country, is about four times lower than the spending in leading Ireland.
Typically, more than 50 percent of the Christmas budget in all countries is spent on gifts, while additional food is the second largest item on the list and additional socializing is the third. Consumers in the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine on average allocate the least to presents, whereas consumers in the United Kingdom, United States, Finland and France are among those most ready to pay for gifts. In contrast, the amount spent on food is the highest in Spain (279 euros), Finland (278 euros) and South Africa (214 euros). Surprisingly, Americans spend only slightly more on food and socializing at Christmas when compared to the rest of the year.

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