Christmas shopping in Oslo. Photo: NTB Scanpix
“The decline surprises me and stands in sharp contrast to the estimates of growth in Christmas shopping this year. Many are experiencing uncertainty over their jobs and incomes and will therefore hold back a bit on spending,” Sparebank 1 economist Magne Gundersen said.
According to the survey, conducted by Respons Analyse, people will on average spend an extra 6,360 kroner on Christmas this year, compared to 7,685 kroner last year.
When asked what will affect this year’s Christmas spending, 19 percent of respondents said that they think Christmas consumption will be affected negatively by the economic situation in Norway.
Industry organization Finance Norway’s fourth quarter expectation barometer shows that faith in the Norwegian economy next year is at the lowest level ever registered.
“We have seen it before and see signs of the same now: When uncertainty for future economic development increases, many choose to drop their spending and would rather save money,” Nordea consumer economist Elin Reitan said.
According to Christmas surveys that TNS Gallup has done for the bank, it is the lowest income groups who plan to cut their Christmas spending the most this year.
Although faith in the Norwegian economy is low, most people are more optimistic when it comes to their personal finances, the surveys from Sparebank 1 and Finance Norway show.
And consumer economist Silje Sandmæl from DNB predicts that many people will go over their set budgets when Christmas shopping truly begins.
“I think the temptations will win out over reason when it comes to the year’s Christmas spending. There are many indications that we will end up spending more than we say we will,” said Sandmæl.