UK leads major Western economies in Christmas spending

POSTED: 17th December 2014
IN: Personal News

Average UK consumer spends £700 on Christmas, study shows.

undefinedIt seems that the seasonal shopping frenzy witnessed on Black Friday (November 28th) in the UK was not just a one-day phenomenon, with research showing that the UK spends more on Christmas than any other major Western economy.

According to analysis in the latest Global Economy Watch from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the typical British consumer spends close to £700 over the festive period.

This is a third more than shoppers in the US and second only to Ireland, where the average person spends the equivalent of £750 on Christmas.

Canada was ranked fourth in the list of highest-spending countries, followed by the eurozone nations France, Germany and Italy.

The PwC figures also showed that total expenditure by major Western economies during the 2013 festive season was $445 billion (£283 billion).

Looking more closely at the data, the professional services firm noted that the financial crisis seems to be having a lasting impact on consumer habits at Christmas.

Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC, pointed out that the UK and Germany are the only surveyed countries where spending in real terms has returned to pre-downturn levels.

"Elsewhere, some of the scars of the financial crisis are still visible: US Christmas spending remains ten per cent behind that of 2007 in real terms. And in Greece, real person Christmas spending dropped by around 60 per cent in the six years to 2013," he added.

A separate study by price-tracking website explored consumer buying habits within the UK, revealing that Scarborough is the most generous place in the country when it comes to buying gifts.

More than half (52 per cent) of residents of the North Yorkshire town would spend between £800 and £1,000 on presents, according to the survey. However, people living not too far away, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, would be more likely to have a Christmas budget of up to £200.

Dundee and Liverpool were the second and third highest-spending locations after Scarborough.

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