Shoppers plan to spend on Christmas gifts, but food budgets may be tight

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Some shoppers may use Black Friday to stock up for Christmas.

Bebeto Matthews/AP

Some shoppers may use Black Friday to stock up for Christmas.

There could be less food on the table for Christmas lunch, but more gifts under the tree this year, as the cost of living crisis forces consumers to change their approach to the silly season.

According to the latest MYOB Consumer Snapshot – a survey of more than 1,000 New Zealanders – the rising cost of living has prompted most Kiwis to reconsider aspects of their Christmas budget this year.

Almost a third (32%) of respondents said they were planning a little Christmas at home, 30% planned to spend less than usual on gifts and 30% expected to spend less on dine out during the holiday season.

Food prices have risen faster than inflation – rising 10.1% during the fiscal year ending October 2022, which may affect the amount purchased for Christmas.

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Consumers surveyed expected to spend an average of $413 on food and drink this Christmas and New Year season, up from $447 last year.

THINGS

Stuff spoke to people on the streets of Christchurch about grocery prices and how they would change their Christmas meal plans.

But the average amount spent per person on gifts is expected to be around $132, significantly higher than the average of $94 in 2021 and $90 in 2020.

MYOB spokesperson Jo Tozer said that as more New Zealanders watch their budgets more closely this year, the effect could be felt by local businesses.

“While there is much to celebrate this year with borders fully open and restrictions lifted, record inflation rates and the rising cost of living are prompting many New Zealanders to take a more reserved for the holiday season.

“While our research suggests spending will be on par with 2021 at most levels, with the dollar not stretching as far this year – especially on essentials like food – it’s likely that many families will adjust this that their traditional festive celebrations entail.”

Black Friday was also affected by the cost of living crisis according to data from PriceSpy.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Black Friday was also affected by the cost of living crisis according to data from PriceSpy.

It could continue to be a tough year-end for some companies that would feel the pinch more than others as discretionary spending was reassessed, she said.

black fridayon November 25, was also affected by the cost of living crisis, according to data from PriceSpy.

Data showed that 42% of Kiwis had no intention of buying anything on the the biggest shopping day of the year, an increase of 13% over one year.

“The cost of living crisis may well prevent some people from planning to buy this Black Friday season, but there are also broader reasons at play,” said New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett.

Christmas shoppers were likely to shop for gifts earlier this year, with discounts on Black Friday.

Andy Jackson / Stuff

Christmas shoppers were likely to shop for gifts earlier this year, with discounts on Black Friday.

Even though PriceSpy found that 93% of people were concerned about the cost of living crisis, on average, those who were planning to shop were looking to spend $731.

“As consumers try to navigate the cost of living crisis, one of the reasons shoppers are looking to spend so much during Black Friday and Black Week this year is to make the most of the discounts offered.”

If a consumer was trying to buy a big-ticket item earlier this year, like a fridge-freezer or washing machine, but was put off by the high price it was selling for, they might delay their purchase to buy at a cheaper time. . , like Black Friday, she says.

“Shoppers can also take advantage of the sale season to shop smarter, buying the bulk of their Christmas gifts earlier when prices are lower.”

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