Irish top Christmas-spending poll
Irish people are in line to become the biggest spenders in Europe this Christmas season as festive fever takes over, a new survey has revealed.
As other European nations tighten their belts, spending by Irish consumers on Christmas gifts is set to increase by 8%.
The research from financial consultants Deloitte showed it was the largest increase across the nine European countries surveyed, placing Irish consumers in position to become the biggest spenders across the region.
Cormac Hughes, a partner with Deloitte Consultants, said: “The results of our survey indicate that again Irish consumers are defying the trends in Europe and planning to spend reasonably freely this Christmas.
“Spend will grow, our results indicate 8% on the people surveyed.”
Around 84% of those surveyed expected to spend at least as much if not more than last year.
The 9% of consumers planning to curb their spending put this down to the high cost of living and saving money for things like a new house or additional holidays.
Mr Hughes said the Irish economy was continuing to perform strongly and this was revealed in the anticipated spending levels.
“Our survey shows that Irish consumers have a high degree of job security, at 77%, and are optimistic about their personal financial situation, with 76% indicating that they expect their financial situation to stay the same or improve over the next year.
“This contrasts sharply with the European average for job security, at 50%,” he said.
The survey, which was based on responses from 6,800 consumers in nine EU countries, found spending on gifts was in line to increase by 6% in Spain, while a drop in spending of 9% was anticipated in Germany with a fall of 6% in Portugal and Italy.
Among the most popular toys this Christmas are the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PSP and Star Wars.
Batman and Power Rangers toys remain popular among boys, while Bratz and Barbie are claiming the attention of young girls.
Irish, British and German consumers are planning to buy toys purely for fun this Christmas but in Dutch and southern European countries’ many adults are planning to buy educational presents.
Around 44% of Irish consumers would consider how the goods were sourced in relation to fair trade and child labour.
But when it comes to where to shop for gifts for around 40% it would be a last-minute decision.
Mr Hughes said: “This presents a good opening for retailers in the battle for the consumer wallet.
"Christmas, with its large sales volumes, is an opportunity to attract and, when successful, permanently re-route customers to their shops.”
Across Europe, the internet was being used by 75% of people to browse for products and stores, 54% were engaging in price comparisons and around half of those surveyed were going to buy products and services on the internet this Christmas.
Consumers set to spend less across Europe for Xmas except in Ireland and Spain