Shoppers to spend more this Christmas: Survey

Consumers here are expected to spend more this Christmas compared with last year.
Consumers here are expected to spend more this Christmas compared with last year. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Festive budgets increase 8% from last year, even as more feel pessimistic about economy

Consumers here are expected to spend more this Christmas compared with last year, even though they are more pessimistic about the economy, according to a survey.

On average, they have set aside $769 for Christmas shopping this year, 8 per cent more than last year.

And many people have decided to spend significantly more on gifts for themselves, the study showed.

The seasonal good cheer comes despite more than a quarter of the respondents - 27 per cent - expecting the economy to decline next year, up 9 percentage points from last year, the survey found.

The survey was commissioned by United Overseas Bank and conducted by Ipsos, which interviewed 500 people in Singapore aged between 25 and 55, with a minimum monthly personal income of $2,500, around the middle of last month.

Spouses and partners are those most likely to receive gifts this year, with 63 per cent of respondents planning to give their significant other a Christmas present.


ST ILLUSTRATION: LEE CHEE CHEW

Men will be more generous than women in this regard, spending an average of $386 on a gift for their loved one, nearly double the $186 spent by women.

Among the respondents, 49 per cent said they would give gifts to friends and 39 per cent said they would buy presents for colleagues.

Respondents plan to spend the most on themselves. They reserved close to $500 to purchase gifts for themselves, a significant increase from $292 last year.

The average budget allocated to buying presents for spouses and partners remains relatively unchanged at $298, compared with last year's $302.

Business associates can expect a more expensive gift this year, as respondents said they would spend $317 on building business relationships, up from $207 last year.

The survey also showed that both men and women seem to misjudge what members of the opposite gender want.

Women most frequently desire department store vouchers (36 per cent), chocolate (36 per cent) and perfume (30 per cent). However, men are more likely to buy chocolates (44 per cent) for the women in their lives. Only 16 per cent would opt for department store vouchers.

Men, on the other hand, want a smartphone (22 per cent) and shopping vouchers (18 per cent). Women respondents, however, plan to give the men in their lives chocolate (64 per cent), cologne (42 per cent) and toiletries (38 per cent).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2015, with the headline 'Shoppers to spend more this Christmas: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe