Australians are set to splurge big time on Christmas gifts this week, hitting the shops for late gift shopping to the tune of $6.5 billion.
Small businesses are especially salivating at the prospect with $5.6 billion of that predicted to go into in store purchases. The other $934 million will be lashed out at domestic online operations.
According to predictions from the Australian National Retailers Association and the GE Capital Christmas Retail Index, Australians will spend an average $285 each on gifts this week.
Victorians are especially busy as the hotspot of pre-Christmas shopping, with people spending $171 million more this week than they did the previous week.
“Victoria has always been kind to the retail sector; we're hoping the surge to the shops before Christmas sets the tone for 2013,” says ANRA chief executive Margy Osmond.
But on a per person basis, the ACT houses the serious spenders as shoppers there are estimated to spend nearly $500 each this week in their last minute dash around town.
And there’s hope for a further post Christmas spike too as rate cuts flow through to fattening wallets.
“October's cash rate cut didn't give the retail sector the lift we might have hoped for but the cash rate cut was not immediately passed on by the banks and consumers no longer respond immediately to a cut,” Osmond observed.
“We are hoping as Aussies realise there is extra cash in their wallets they will splurge a little on the Christmas season or, at the very least, in the post-Christmas sales.”
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