Aussies splurge on toys, food and eating out this Christmas

Online retailing, toys, games and restaurants are expected to be the big winners this Christmas season as Australians shop from home, fill their stockings and load up the festive table.

Shoppers are tipped to spend just a little more this year than they did in 2012, and most of it will be going on debit cards instead of credit cards.

Analysts at IBISWorld believe the average Australian will spend $1,215.30 on Christmas this year – up just $5 on last year.

But the total December spend is expected to hit $28.1 billion, 2.2% more than last year, and almost a third of that ($10.6 billion) will be spent on food.

IBISWorld General Manager (Australia) Karen Dobie said it looked like being the first Christmas in a couple of years that Australians would be willing to splurge on gourmet treats.

“This is the first year in a while that consumer sentiment hasn’t been affected by global and political uncertainty, and the post-financial crisis nervousness has dissipated, leaving Australians more confident about their economic future – and more willing to spend up on seafood and premium bubbly,” Ms Dobie said.

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Source: IBISWorld

The willingness to spend on food looks likely to be good news for the nation’s restaurants, with IBISWorld tipping a 5.2% increase in restaurant spending to $1.9 billion.

“Because Christmas is a special occasion, consumers are expected to splurge on expensive set menu and degustation lunches and dinners at high-end restaurants that they might not regularly frequent,” Ms Dobie said.

Online retailers will be the big winners this Christmas, with an 18% year-on-year increase and about $1.4 billion likely to be spent online in December.