Finance Your Budget $7 billion Xmas shop expected this week

$7 billion Xmas shop expected this week

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Gift cards will top the list of favourite presents and West Australians will be the biggest spenders in an expected $16 billion fortnight of shopping in the lead-up to Christmas.

Christmas gift buying is expected to boost retailers’ coffers by more than $7 billion across Australia this week and nearly $9 billion next week, according to the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA).

The figures are the latest projections from the ANRA’s Christmas Retail Index.

About $5.5 billion of this week’s spend will be in bricks and mortar stores with about $1.5 billion spent on domestic online purchases, says ANRA CEO Margy Osmond.

Ms Osmond said shoppers were expected to spend almost $16 billion over the next fortnight in the two biggest shopping weeks of the year.

She said very little would be spent on gift buying on overseas websites as the prospects of having gifts delivered on time diminished.

Electronic items were still high on the gift list but the number one present was still a gift card, Ms Osmond said.

“They’ve gone from being just a little bit daggy to being the most desired gift so people can use them in those post-Christmas sales,” she told reporters in Sydney’s busy Pitt Street Mall on Sunday.

The spending total this Christmas was expected to be more than five per cent better than last Christmas, making it probably the best in four or five years, Ms Osmond said.

On average, shoppers will spend about $306 each this week, with West Australians being the biggest spenders at $356 per person, the ANRA predicts.

NSW shoppers will make the biggest contribution to sales, spending about $2.15 billion in the week while the biggest surge in spending will be in Queensland, where sales are expected to reach $1.49 billion, up $305 million since last week.