Germans looking forward to bumper Christmas spending

The planned spending on Christmas gifts by German citizens remained at a high level after a record breaking 2018, according to a survey by consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) published this week.

According to EY, the average gift budget of German adult consumers this year would be 281 euros (310 U.S. dollars), only one euro less than in the previous year. In total, the planned expenditure on gifts in Germany would add up to 18.4 billion euros, 0.4 percent less than in 2018.

“The retail sector once again has a strong Christmas business ahead of it,” Thomas Harms, head of consumer products and retail at EY, commented on the survey based on interviews with 1,000 adult consumers in Germany conducted from Oct. 10 to 28.

As more German citizens would plan to buy gifts in local stores, the Christmas budget for online-shopping declined. According to EY, Germans would plan to spend an average of 83 euros online, 5 euros less than in 2018.

EY stated that the reason for the decline in online-shopping was caused by changing gift preferences of Germans. In 2019, revenues from gift vouchers for events and travel, which were mainly purchased in the internet, recorded “significant losses”.

Like last year, the most popular gift remained giving away cash. More than one out of two German consumers planned to spend an average of 69 euros on cash gifts or vouchers, according to EY.

“The economic downturn is hardly noticeable for most consumers yet,” said Harms. “Wages have risen significantly in recent years and, in view of low interest rates, saving is not worthwhile.”