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Smarter spending predicted over Christmas

Financial security is hot on everybody’s mind this Christmas as research shows Aussies are tightening their purse strings.

A Dun & Bradstreet Newspoll survey found half of Australian households will tighten their spending on non-essential items coming into the festive season.

These figures come after a Consumer Credit Expectations survey showed 56% of the people surveyed were concerned about their personal finances.

The survey interviewed 1,216 people between the ages of 18 and 64.

The results also found one in three people were more likely to save now than they were 12 months ago.

Credit card usage has been on the decline for some time now and this trend is expected to carry on over Christmas.

In fact 37% of people are less likely to use their credit card over Christmas this year, instead favouring their debit account and savings.

Despite consumer spending predicted to be tighter, retailers are optimistic about this year’s holiday season spend.

Australian National Retailers Association chief executive Margy Osmond said local retailers were expecting Christmas spending to be slightly higher than last year.

“It’s not fabulous but I think that there is a certain sensation amongst retailers that given the fact that people have been very cautious and saving their money and minimising their credit card charges that we may see a little bit of up-tick in discretionary spend this Christmas,” she said.

The Reserve Bank Australia is doing all it can to help over Christmas with the recent 25 basis point cash rate cut slowly trickling down into people’s spending habits.

Ms Osmond said another reduction in November would also be helpful.

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