Christmas Spending Down, Except for Books

News Brief: Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010

Austrians will spend €16 less on Christmas presents this year than in 2008, or about €272 a person over the holiday season.

According to an October survey by Ernst & Young of 500 individuals over the age of 18  throughout Austria, men will be the primary savers, spending only €279 on gifts this year compared with an average of €322 last year. Women’s spending, by contrast, will remain about the same, or an average of €267.

Austrians are still among the top spenders, however, compared to other European countries. The Germans are expected to spend no more than €226, and the parsimonious Swiss are expected to disburse only €177, nearly €100 less than the Austrian average.

The study also reveals that book store sales will grow this year: Besides gift vouchers (56%), a full 61% of Austrians intend to buy books this year, followed by toys (60%) and clothes (46%). A third (37%) of the survey respondents indicated that they would like to give gifts of sweets and other food, which is about 9% more than in the previous year.

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