Holiday spending is up: report

Survey results from RBC and American Express show that Canadians are in a festive mood this year.

The holiday spirit won’t be stolen by the Grinch this year as Canadians plan to spend, on average, $640 on gifts (up from $624 in 2010) and another $612 on holiday items such as entertainment, decorations and travel (up from $512 in 2010), according to an RBC survey.

Of the 3,054 respondents, 80% said that they will be purchasing gifts this holiday season. Atlantic Canada – New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia – is the most generous region, with 90% stating that they plan to purchase gifts this year with an average budget of $877. They also plan to spend $767 on travel, decorations, food and entertainment.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba sit just below, with 88% of residents in the gift-giving mood. They plan to spend, on average, $686 (up $100 from last year) on presents and another $742 (up from $523 in 2010) on holiday items.

In BC, 76% plan to purchase gifts this year and so do 79% of Ontarians and 78% of Quebecers. British Columbia consumers anticipate an average gift expenditure of $674 (compared to $539 in 2010) and consumers in Ontario plan to spend $50 more this year on gifts, with an average budget of $663.

Quebec consumers are keeping their holiday spending in check as respondents say they project an average expenditure of $461 – well below the national average – on gifts, and another $563 on holiday items.

When it comes to actually purchasing the gifts, 57% of Canadians in a survey recently issued by American Express, say that they plan to shop online. Among the reasons why the respondents will resort to internet shopping are because they want to avoid crowds in malls (65%), find deals (57%), have 24/7 access to retailers (57%) and simplify their lives (58%).

They also plan to purchase entertainment (68%), electronics (46%), apparel and accessories (41%), toys (31%) and gift cards (26%) online.

Photo: Andrew Booth, Flickr Creative Commons