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Australians set to limit Christmas shopping spree under cost-of-living pressure

Canberra, Oct 5 (IANS) Australia’s top retail body estimated on Thursday that the pre-Christmas spending in 2023 is tipped to remain nearly the same as last year’s results, as citizens have a tighter rein on their budgets due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Provisional forecasts by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan indicated a total of A$66.8 billion to be spent during the November to December 24 Christmas trading period, up slightly by 0.1 per cent from last year’s level, reports Xinhua news agency.

Spending on food is projected to account for the lion’s share, making up A$26.7 billion of the overall spending and increasing by 2.4 per cent compared to last year.

While department stores and other retailing, such as recreational goods, books, and cosmetics, are poised for a 2.9 per cent and a 1.7 per cent growth in sales.

The categories of hospitality, household goods, and clothing are bracing for a softening of spending in the lead up to Christmas.

Both South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory are set to have a growth of 1.2 per cent in sales, followed by Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Victoria, with spending in Queensland and New South Wales predicted to fall.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra noted that a softening of spending on discretionary goods is expected given the current economic conditions and the persistent cost-of-living crunch.

“The marginal increase in spending this year is being inflated by supply chain price increases, particularly in food, and an overall increase in Australia’s population,” Zahra said.

“If you exclude these factors, overall Christmas spending is in decline. For many discretionary retailers, up to two-thirds of their profit is made during the all-important Christmas trading period, so it is shaping up to be a period of business uncertainty this year,” he added.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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