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Almost 90% of Italians cut holiday spending due to crisis

Retail group finds about 41.5 mn people reducing Xmas budgets

02 December, 13:45
Almost 90% of Italians cut holiday spending due to crisis (ANSA) - Rome, December 2 - Almost nine out of 10 Italians have been forced to cut back on spending for the holidays because of the economic crisis, retailers group Confesercenti said in a survey released Monday.

It estimates that 87% of shoppers - about 41.5 million people - have trimmed their budgets, representing an increase of about 500,000 people compared with last year, said the survey conducted by researchers SWG for Confesercenti.

The survey found that about 2.5 million Italians have been trimming their spending on fuel, an increase of about 5% over last year as Italy's longest recession in 20 years continues.

Among those who have revised their budgets, 24% said they have been reducing their spending on every item and about 39% said they were cutting out buying new clothing.

About 22% said they were cutting spending on travel and 15% said they were reducing their food budgets. The age group most affected was 25 to 34 years old: 90% of these have reduced their costs in general, with one in four saying they had reduced their fuel consumption.

The findings support a survey released week by business group Confcommercio which said that Christmas will be a bleak affair for many Italians who have seen their incomes remain stuck at 1986 levels.

Italians who do choose to buy Christmas gifts this year will be focused on practical items such as food, clothing and books, which comprise about 87% of spending plans, according to Confcommercio.