Cash tops Christmas gift wish list – survey

2012-12-14 16:31

Almost 60% of South Africans intend to purchase fewer gifts this festive season, while many wish for money as their gift, according to Deloitte’s Year-end Holiday Survey.

The survey, which sampled the spending habits of consumers ahead of the 2012 festive season, found that money was the number one most-desired gift.

But while 41% of respondents hope to receive cash this year, many are likely to get chocolates followed by books, CDs, cosmetics and vouchers.

The growing popularity of digital gadgets also played a part in the top 10 most wished-for gifts for the first time this year, with 24% of respondents wanting a smartphone or tablet computer.

This year, consumers are expected to curb their spending behaviour with 34% aiming to spend less on holidays and around 25% to cut back on clothing and entertainment, the survey found.

While consumers reported they have less disposable income than last year, they intended to increase their spending on food.

“Food as a share of the overall spending has increased from 27% in 2011 to 30% in 2012,” the survey stated.

A whopping 80% of respondents felt they would be able to cut back on future spending on entertainment and leisure activities.

“The South African consumer currently faces a number of challenges including increased living costs, higher energy prices and higher education costs, to name but a few,” said Rodger George, consumer business industry leader for Deloitte.

The survey also found that consumers had a dim outlook on the economy as a whole, with just under 50% reporting that the current economic environment was negative; however, they were “significantly less negative” compared to 2008 and 2009.

George said the economy took a downhill turn in the third quarter of 2012 with a series of industrial strikes, while still facing “significant headwinds from the global economy”.

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