Spaniards to spend less this Christmas

With only a month left until Christmas it appears that the recession will affect the amount Spaniards spend on celebrations this year. According to a survey of 20,500 people in 19 EU countries each Spanish household will spend on average 10.8% less than last year. Deloitte, the company which carried out the survey, also found that up to 51% of Spaniards will use the internet to buy presents this Christmas.

Deloitte found that Spaniards are planning to spend 16% less on food this Christmas partly due to more competitive food prices and this year 58% of people’s Christmas budgets will be spent on presents. This is not altogether a negative sum when taken into account that in 2007, before the recession began, it was estimated that Spaniards spent on average 380 euros on presents.

The conclusions of the survey reveal that today’s consumer is more rational which means that people will look for more useful presents and articles at reduced prices although they are not likely to buy second hand goods with 51% of people saying that this is not an option that they consider when shopping for presents.

According to the report published by Deloitte the recession is still the biggest reason why people are trying to cut back on their spending this Christmas and their perception of economic recovery is still negative. It found that 51% of those questioned believe that things will get worse before they get better.

However according to a survey of 3000 Spaniards by the Federation of Users and Independent Consumers (FUCI) on consumer habits at Christmas the amount that people spend on celebrations has gone down by 24% as a result of the recession. In a press conference Agustina Laguna, the Chairperson of FUCI, said that each person would spend approximately 54 euros less this year.

The results of the survey by FUCI found that in 2008 people spent on average 814 euros on Christmas (6% less than the previous year) and this dropped further to 728 euros in 2009 (10.

5% less).

Madrid and the Valencian region were found to be the two regions which spent most on Christmas – on average people living in the Valencian region were found to spend 730 euros on Christmas. In contrast it found that in the Canary Islands people have reduced their spending by 100 euros to 381 euros. Average spending on Christmas in other parts of Spain were estimated to be 674 euros in Asturias, 676 euros in Cantabria and 669 euros in Castilla la Mancha.

Nevertheless FUCI also found that the only region in Spain where spending on food went up was Galicia compared to 2009 (211 euros)followed closely by Catalans (209 euros).

However, FUCI found that consumers tried to save money on leisure, lottery, toys and presents although spending on food would also go down by an average of 4.

One surprising finding of the survey was that Spaniards will spend less on the Christmas lottery this year something which according to FUCI shows that people are less prepared to depend on luck to help them financially.

Lastly according to Laguna Spaniards are moving away from eating the same things at Christmas – products which normally go up in price during the festive season.