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Finns are planning on spending almost 500 euros on Christmas in 2017, finds a survey conducted by Nordea.
Finns are planning on spending almost 500 euros on Christmas in 2017, finds a survey conducted by Nordea.

 

Finns are planning on spending an average of 490 euros on Christmas, according to a survey conducted by Nordea. More than a half of the holiday budget, 290 euros, will be spent on gifts and the remaining 200 euros on other holiday-related costs.

Olli Kärkkäinen, an economist at Nordea, says the amount of money is surprisingly low in light of the good economic situation in Finland.

“The Christmas budgets, somewhat surprisingly, do not reflect the strong economic growth and record-high consumer confidence in Finland. The average budget is slightly smaller than last year. I wonder if the budgets are conservative because the economic growth has yet to boost the purchasing power of households,” comments Kärkkäinen.

Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they are planning on using their wage and other sources of regular income and one-fifth that they are planning on using their tax refunds or dipping into their savings to pay for the holiday shopping spree. Ten per cent of respondents, meanwhile, said they will use credit to prepare for Christmas.

Kärkkäinen reminds that the share of those who turn to credit because of the holidays could be even higher.

“People tend to be optimistic when they are planning, but as Christmas approaches they notice that they still have a few Christmas gifts to buy even though they have already used their savings and tax refunds,” he explains.

The survey also found that the most popular gifts are likely to be chocolate, other sweets, toys and clothes. The popularity of books, on the other hand, is largely age-dependent, according to the survey: books were on the shopping lists of one-third of over 65-year-old respondents but only on those of one-eighth of 18–25-year-old respondents.

Ten per cent of respondents said they intend to give no Christmas gifts.

The Finnish Commerce Federation has revealed that the holiday season boosts the revenues of its member organisations by roughly 190 euros for every over 15-year-old Finn.

“I wish it was 500 euros,” Jaana Kurjenoja, the chief economist at the Commerce Federation, tweeted in response to the survey results published by Nordea.

Kurjenoja reminds that most, but admittedly not all, of the holiday spending continues to be reflected in the revenues of domestic retailers despite the growing popularity of foreign web-shops. She adds that the apparent discrepancy between the two estimates is also attributable to the fact consumers are likely to include costs that would be incurred regardless of the time of the year in their holiday budgets.

The Finnish Commerce Federation has also pointed out that the holiday retail season is starting earlier than before due to the advent of Black Friday in Finland. Some of the holiday spending is consequently taking place already in November.

“November has been a worse-than-average month for sales for a long time, but November net sales have improved slightly in comparison to the annual average in the past couple of years,” says Kurjenoja.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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