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Canadian holiday spending intentions down 19 per cent due to inflation: poll

Three in 10 Canadians said they would be spending less this holiday season, while half said they would spend about the same. About 10 per cent said they would be spending more while another 10 per cent said they don’t do any holiday gift shopping.
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People pass a large Christmas tree as they go shopping on Christmas Eve at a mall in Ottawa on Dec. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canadians holiday spending intentions are down 19 per cent this holiday season compared to last year due to inflation, according to a new poll.

The Maru Public Opinion poll found the average consumer is expected to spend $549.60, down $128 over last year.

Close to 70 per cent of those surveyed still have the holiday buying left and there’s no guarantee for retailers that those who have yet to start buying will spend the average amount.

Three in 10 Canadians said they would be spending less this holiday season, while half said they would spend about the same. About 10 per cent said they would be spending more while another 10 per cent said they don’t do any holiday gift shopping.

When asked the reason they would be cutting back on spending, over 50 per cent said inflation has caused them to cut back on spending while 33 per cent said inflation has made gifts too expensive this year.

Another 22 per cent said the combination of inflation and higher interest rates has left them financially drained.

The Bank of Canada could announce another potential interest rate hike on Dec. 7. The key interest rate has been raised to 3.75 per cent this year in response to decades-high inflation.

For those who will be shopping, the majority say they will be doing it mainly online while 45 per cent will be heading out to brick-and-mortar stores.

The poll was conducted on Nov. 25-27 using 1,522 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panellists and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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