Canadians in spending mode

A BMO holiday outlook suggests Canadians’ spending spirits have improved this season, with the bank projecting an average 15 per cent jump in holiday spending over last Christmas.

A BMO holiday outlook suggests Canadians’ spending spirits have improved this season, with the bank projecting an average 15 per cent jump in holiday spending over last Christmas.

The Bank of Montreal’s 2012 Holiday Spending Outlook finds that survey respondents plan to spend an average of $1,610 this holiday season, up from $1,397 in 2011.

Shoppers surveyed say they plan to shell out an average of $674 for gifts this year, compared to an average of $583 last year.

The top reasons for spending more are having more people to shop for and being better off financially.

Spending on trips is also projected to increase, while amounts allocated for entertaining were expected to fall from a year ago.

Nearly half of respondents say they’ll set a loose budget, while three-in-ten say they plan on sticking to a firm budget.

Other analysts weighing in on holiday spending this year also believe Canadians will be more generous with their finances.

A report released last week by Ernst & Young predicted Canadian holiday sales would rise 3.5 per cent over last year, supported by signs of improvement in consumer confidence.

And a study from Deloitte projected Canadians will spend one to two per cent more this holiday season, but an increasing number will check for the best prices online before they head to the mall in a season it expects to be highly price competitive.

Last year, sales were restrained by high household debt, modest wage growth and turbulent global markets.

But the economy has improved slightly since then and consumers appear more willing to open their wallets.

A survey conducted by BMO in January found households kept holiday spending in check, with 76 per cent spending less or the same on holiday gifts, trips and entertaining than in 2010.

Another boost to holiday sales this year could come from new sales pitches by toy makers, suggested Gerrick Johnson, a toy analyst with BMO Capital Markets.

“Consumers this year will benefit from a number of new tactics that retailers have implemented: hot toy reservation systems, more aggressive price match programs, same-day online delivery, and earlier and cheaper layaway,” said Johnson.

“These moves should help toy sales by making more expensive items more accessible, making all items easier to buy. They are also likely to entice earlier sales, which should help lift toy sales throughout the holiday season.”

One-in-five respondents to the BMO survey — conducted by Pollara among 1,000 Canadians — said they didn’t plan on creating a budget at all.

And more than half (53 per cent) admitted to making impulsive purchases during the holiday season.A majority of respondents, or 68 per cent, said they plan to begin shopping before December and 30 per cent said they planned to start prior to November.

Women were twice as likely as men to start shopping before November.

“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 of marketing at BMO.

“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.”

A majority of respondents, or 68 per cent, said they plan to begin shopping before December and 30 per cent said they planned to start prior to November.

Women were twice as likely as men to start shopping before November.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reported 323 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
‘We’re in a danger zone,’ says Hinshaw

The province’s top doctor says “we’re in a danger zone” when it… Continue reading

Mayor Tara Veer pleads with the premier Tuesday to review the decision to move to a consolidated EMS dispatch system, which will be moved to three centres across the province. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
‘Issue of life and death’: mayors plead with government to halt consolidated EMS dispatch

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer calls on premier to overturn consolidated EMS dispatch decision

A $2.3-billion expansion of Alberta’s natural gas transportation system has been approved. “This should provide significant benefits — and we need every little bit of economic boost we can get,” says Reg Warkentin, policy adviser for the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Flickr photo)
Red Deer-area to benefit from $2.3 billion gas pipeline expansion project

Project will add 344 km of new pipeline between RMH and Grande Prairie

Dustin Snider was elected the new board president for Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Earl’s Restaurant manager re-elected Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce president

Dustin Snider has been re-elected president of the Red Deer & Distict… Continue reading

Red Deer singer Kayla Williams hopes listeners fed up with the pandemic are comforted by her new song, Stealing from My Youth, which is digitally available for streaming on Friday. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer singer summarizes universal pandemic feelings in a new single

Kayla Williams releases ‘Stealing From My Youth’ on Friday

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford leaps over a challenge by PSG's Presnel Kimpembe during the Champions League group H soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Hamilton Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis, right, hugs captain Kyle Bekker following their victory in the Canadian Premier League soccer final against the Calgary Cavalry in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Under Smyrniotis, Forge FC has been the class of the Canadian Premier League. The two-time champions from Hamilton look to mark their internationally this week as they open CONCACAF League play in El Salvador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Players' sticks are shown during a World Hockey Championships game in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, May 12, 2016. A senior hockey team in a small city in southern Manitoba has changed its name following a push against the use of Indigenous names and caricatures as mascots. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev
Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Jason Kokrak tees off during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

The Los Angeles Dodgers line up during during the national anthem and a fly over before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Keegan Messing performs in the Gala at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ goes south to cover U.S. election under COVID-19 protocols

‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ goes south to cover U.S. election under COVID-19 protocols

Most Read