Australians are expected to spend more than $18 billion this Christmas, with the next few days expected to be the busiest time for retailers.
According to research from the Commonwealth Bank, consumers will spend $2.2 billion more in 2013 than they forked out last year.
Almost half expect to do their Christmas shopping this weekend, the bank’s survey of 1000 people showed.
More than $7.9 billion is expected to be spent on Christmas gifts, more than $100 million more than a year ago.
Another $4.3 billion will be laid out on Christmas holidays, while cash will also be splurged on entertaining and going out.
People in New South Wales and Victoria are expected to spend on gifts than those in other states, with an average spend of $512 compared to $482 in Western Australia, $453 in South Australia and $430 in Australia.
The figures are good news for retailers, who have been suffering because of consumer caution.
But CBA’s head of local business banking Adam Bennett said businesses will need to put in some hard work to be prepared.
“While millions of consumers are planning to spend big this weekend, businesses should also note the expected spending rush before and after Christmas as consumers snap up last minute gifts and bargains in the sales,” he said.
“My advice for businesses is to ensure they have enough staff and stock to cover both pre and post-Christmas shopping to help maximise returns over this crucial trading period.”