Christmas spending forecast at $32B

The four weeks before Christmas is the busiest time for retailers and shoppers, so says the Australian National Retailers' Association in a bleeding obvious statement of Christmas spending projections.

Chief executive of ANRA, Anna McPhee says, "Nationally more than $32.6 billion in total sales is expected for the four weeks, with the average family expected to spend $4,154.

"The ANRA Christmas spending projections suggest the retail sector is in a slightly stronger position compared to last year and is on target to contribute around four per cent to Australia's GDP.

"The retail sector will also boost employment with around 39,000 jobs expected to be created over the Christmas period to support customer demand", she said.

ANRA recently surveyed shoppers on Christmas shopping intent and most shoppers will start their Christmas shopping this week and will go right up to Christmas Eve.

"This first week of the Christmas retail period, we are projecting total sales of around $6.71 billion, with the bulk of that spending in Australian bricks and mortar shops, cafes and restaurants (around $5.3 billion), says McPhee.

"Shoppers traditionally go online early to ensure gifts are delivered in time for wrapping and placing under the Christmas tree.

"Projections for week one suggest $570 million will be spent with a click on international sites and $840 million with Australian online retailers.

"Christmas spending is expected to build week on week and extended trading hours are important for retailers to be able to meet customer expectation and demand," she says.

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