Retail Industry Updates

Australia’s Record $30 Billion Christmas Shopping Spree of 2023

christmas shopping spent by Australians 2023

In 2023, Australians collectively spent a significant amount on Christmas shopping, showcasing a robust festive season spending despite the challenges posed by rising interest rates and cost-of-living pressures.

According to a survey by Finder, Australians were expected to spend a total of $30 billion during the Christmas season, which marked a 10% increase compared to the estimated $27.3 billion spent in the previous year.

The average individual spending was projected to be around $1,479, covering categories such as presents, food, alcohol, eating out, and travel. Notably, Victorians led the spending charts with an average of $1,765, followed by New South Wales at $1,657 per person. Travel topped the list of spending priorities, with an average of $533 per person, followed by presents ($373) and food ($249).

Despite these impressive figures, there was a debate among economists regarding the real impact of this spending. Some argued that the increased spending figures might be inflated due to higher prices, rather than a true increase in consumer spending volume. Data from Westpac indicated a significant 8.6% rise in retail sales compared to the same period in 2021, with Boxing Day sales jumping 15.3% to surpass $1.2 billion. However, NAB’s chief economist expressed scepticism about these figures, suggesting that much of the Christmas spending might have occurred during the Black Friday sales and that the actual consumer spending in real terms might have gone backwards when adjusting for price increases.

The Australian Retailers Association reported that pre-Christmas trading reached a record $74.5 billion, which was 8.6% higher than in 2021, and predicted that post-Christmas retail spending would tally up to $23.5 billion. Yet, it was also acknowledged that price increases were a significant factor in these numbers, potentially masking the true volume of sales and the impact of cost-of-living pressures.

In conclusion, while Australians continued to celebrate the festive season with significant spending, the nuances behind these numbers reveal a more complex economic landscape, impacted by price increases and changing consumer behaviours.

Sources:
– Finder: [Australia’s Christmas spending statistics 2023](https://www.finder.com.au/australias-christmas-spending-statistics-2023)
– Australian Financial Review: [Economists challenge claims of bumper Christmas retail spending](https://www.afr.com/companies/retail/economists-challenge-claims-of-bumper-christmas-retail-spending-20230106-p5cb0y)

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