Crisis won't steal Christmas in Australia: survey

Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:25am EST
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The financial crisis won't cheat Australia out of Christmas this year, with one in three people saying while they don't intend to cut back their festive spending, they will be more sensible, a new survey showed.

Commissioned by online retail site eBay, the survey showed the global economic slowdown was causing financial stress for 65 percent of Australians and causing them to cut back on luxuries on a daily basis as well as eating out, using their car and holiday travel.

Despite that, luxuries were still the Christmas gift of choice for nearly half Australians surveyed, with just over a third saying they would only buy these items if they got a good deal on them.

The nationwide poll, conducted in September, involved around 1,200 people aged between 18 and 64.

Although 80 percent of Australians said they valued spending time with family the most during the festive period, almost all said they made an effort to get "the right" Christmas present.

Videogame consoles, cameras and other electronic items were seen the best value for money. Over a third of Australians believe clothes are the best bargain gift and just over a quarter favored jewelry and perfumes.

Financial planner and author Justine Davies advised consumers to avoid the stress of high-street shopping, which often did not yield the best bargains.

"Christmas is about spending time with loved ones - if you plan carefully and shop smart ... it's amazing how much time and money you will save," she said in a statement.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by David Fox)