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Happy Christmas – but it will cost each family €894

WHEN it comes to Christmas, Irish consumers are the biggest spenders in Europe.

We are set to splash out almost €1.5bn on food, drink and presents this festive season – more than any other country in Europe.

Christmas presents are top of the spending splurge and allotted 30pc of the festive budget, followed closely by food at 28pc and partying at 24pc.

The annual Deloitte consumer survey of Christmas spending shows that individual households will spend an average of €894, made up of €484.81 on presents, €258.84 on food and €150.76 on socialising.

Despite spending much more than other Europeans, however, the predictions are that the Irish spend will be lower than previous years.

Right across Europe, all consumers are planning to spend less. While Irish consumers hope to spend just under 2pc less this year, the Greeks are looking to save almost 13pc on last year.

Portugal and Italy are planning a 2.3pc and 2.4pc cut respectively and French consumers are cutting their spend by just under 1pc.


Irish Christmas shoppers are also more likely to focus on buying useful rather than frivolous gifts and 56pc say they are determined to reduce the amount they spend on impulse buys.

Canny shoppers will be using loyalty cards and reward programmes searching for the best discounts and the most popular gifts are likely to be books, money, clothes and shoes.

Children will still be given the bulk of the presents, receiving an average of six gifts each.

The survey shows that 43pc of shoppers will be keeping an eye out for immediate discounts, 17pc will be watching for chances to use loyalty points and 27pc will buy goods where they earn loyalty points or future discounts.

November is the busiest shopping time, with 47pc of people completing their Christmas shopping before the end of the month and 32pc buying their presents in the first half of December.

Deloitte partner Kevin Sheehan says the recession is clearly still a concern despite the estimated €1.5bn spend.