16 Dec

Canadians In The Spirit To Spend

Posted in News on 16.12.10 by John Meloche

To spend or not to spend? That is the question. The answer, apparently, is to spend. At least, that’s what a recent Scotiabank study suggests. According to QMI Agency, Canadians are more likely to increase their spending on Christmas shopping this holiday season.

Last year, a Harris/Decima survey found that Canadians were spending an average of about $891 on gifts which was an increase from $884 the year before. This year, however, it appears as if Canadians will be spending upwards of $968 each. Apparently, Santa Claus (or his generous qualities, at least) is back with a vengeance after the recession ravaged the national economy.

Perhaps, this is a welcome sign for both the nation’s financial status as well as the hearts and minds of Canadians everywhere. Clearly, the global economic downturn brought about hard times for many people. With more people showing signs that gift-giving is back to being all the rage, it signifies a victory over these hardships.

Said Scotiabank deputy chief economist, Aron Gampel, “For the most part, Canadians appear to be happy shoppers this holiday season…And though concerns have mounted over the continuing run-up in household indebtedness, the survey indicates the responsiveness of Canadians to manage their finances and spend more responsibly.”

Of course, this all comes as great news for retailers. Previous studies had surmised that spending would actually be down this holiday season. According to the QMI report, the consumer research group, TNS predicted that holiday spending this year would drop to its lowest level in five years.

Gampel sites “stable employment, strong output in commodity-producing regions of the country and a strong housing market” as factors as to why the opposite is true. Proper budgeting would also have to account for the consumer confidence that has grown in Canada over the past year.

The new Harris/Decima survey found that almost 50% of its respondents believed that they had saved enough money to cover the cost of gifts as well as their other expenses. Albertans were found to be the biggest spenders at $1388 per person compared to Quebecers, who are spending the least, at $776 each.

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