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article imageReport: Canadians to spend $1,610 this holiday season, up 15%

By Andrew Moran     Nov 16, 2012 in Business
Toronto - The holiday shopping season is here and that means endless shopping for friends, family, colleagues and people you don't like. This year's BMO Holiday Spending Outlook found that Canadians will spend 15 percent more this Christmas.
From now until Christmas Day or Boxing Day, the average Canadian is expected to spend $1,610, which is up 15 percent from $1,397 in 2011. Most of the funds will be allocated to gifts, while the rest will be spent on trips, entertainment and other holiday expenditures.
More Canadian consumers are expected to spend more this holiday season because 41 percent said they have more people to shop for, while 39 percent noted that they are better off financially than compared to a year ago.
The survey, which was conducted by Pollara, found that there are a significant number of people who plan to have a fixed or loose budget and not have a budget at all. Nearly half (47 percent) will have a flexible budget, 29 percent will have a fixed budget and nearly a quarter will not have a budget at all.
Although most of the respondents who said they will have a budget tend to stick to it, 53 percent said they make impulse shopping mistakes throughout the holiday season.
“For most Canadians, the holiday season can be an expensive time of year and one where prudent and responsible financial planning is essential," said Su McVey, Vice President at BMO Bank of Montreal, in a news release. "Putting a holiday-specific budget in place ahead of time that sets clear spending limits can keep Canadians from over-extending themselves, and ensure other financial responsibilities and goals stay on track."
The same study found that 68 percent of Canadians will shop before December. Furthermore, women were twice as likely to shop for Christmas before November and men are twice as likely to be last-minute shoppers.
The BMO study was conducted with 1,000 adult Canadians between Oct. 11 and Oct. 16. It contains a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
More about bank of montreal, holiday spending outlook, Canada, Christmas shopping, Consumer spending
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