Back-to-school shopping and Halloween craze are all behind us now and all eyes focus on Black Friday to kick off the Holiday Season shopping. Holiday shoppers say they plan to shell out an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise, down slightly from last year’s $718.98, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. NRF is still forecasting overall holiday retail sales to grow 2.8 % during the months of November and December to $465.6 billion. There is a growing amount of people who are feeling the squeeze of the economic crisis but it looks like Christmas period is the only time we try to keep our habits.



Christmas is just over six weeks away :

If you want to keep things in budget then you should start planing your spending now. Christmas spending set to grow online with consumers searching for deals online, comparing prices and saving on time.

Forecast for 2011 European Holiday Spending

On the European side of things, things are not that sparkly either and I must say rather gloomy. A report put together by the Centre for Retail Research for online shopping comparison site Kelkoo found Christmas sales were expected to rise by 1%, or £680m, to £69.09bn, up from £68.41bn in 2010. The report also covered nine European countries, including the UK, and found that the UK shoppers would spend the most in Europe this year, followed by Germany and France, representing 66% of European Christmas spending.
All the nine countries are likely to see Christmas spending rise, with the exception of Spain where it is likely to dip by 0.1%. The strongest growth, of 2.7%, is predicted for Germany. I really wonder how the latest drop of the European Crisis will have an effect on the actual numbers come January.
So those are the numbers, yes the spending will be average but for most of us Christmas and the holiday season still has a very speacial place and people don’t like to make massive difference. So there will be still presents exchanged, foods prepared and homes decorated. The consumers will be searching for deals, but still shopping. I am really hoping that the already squeezed consumers will not get into more debt for sake of keeping old habits and life styles.
Last week, I asked our Facebook fans “Which annual celebration inspires you the most to decorate your house?” Christmas was a bigger winner ! What is your favourite holiday of the year? Will you be making drastic changes this year on your spending ? Please share with us your thoughts and would love to hear your saving tips if you have some secret ones. Take a look at our speacial Icharts Facebook Fan poll interactive chart below. Your friendly chart to the insights of holiday decorating  🙂
Your spending can be average but you can still make the holiday season speacial.