Australians Looking Forward to a Boozy Christmas

Sunday, 13/12/2009 

A recent national survey has found that Australians are gearing up for a boozy Christmas this year, with many preferring to reduce their family gift budgets rather than cut back their alcohol spend this festive season. 

Bank of Queensland Group Executive Daniel Musson said the Bank of Queensland Straight Talk Survey found that almost 90 per cent of respondents nation-wide, would tighten their purse strings in other areas in favour of a boozy Christmas. 

“The survey showed that twice as many people were likely to cut spending on family gifts than alcohol this Christmas,” Mr Musson said. 

“But it is butchers who will bring home the bacon this Christmas – the ham was voted the item least likely to be cut from the festive season shopping list.” 

The survey of Bank of Queensland’s small business customers nationally, also found that the majority of small business owners were expecting their Christmas turnover to be better this year than last. 

Musson said that this was an indicator that ‘green shoots’ were beginning to sprout in the Australian SME sector. 

“We know that small businesses are the canaries in the coal mine for Australia’s economy, so we think it’s good news that 60 per cent of these people surveyed are expecting turnover this Christmas to be better than the last,” Mr Musson said. 

“The majority of survey respondents also indicated that despite the shadow of the global financial crisis (GFC), they would not restrict their Christmas spending this year. 

“Although Australians are working longer hours than ever, it appears that our holidays are sacred, with 75 per cent of people saying that the GFC has not affected the amount of time they plan to take off work over the festive season.” 

Kids in the ‘Sunshine State’ might be disappointed to find out that their stockings might be a little lighter compared to the rest of Australia. 

The majority of Queensland respondents indicated they would spend approximately $100 per child on Christmas gifts, compared to $250 per child across the rest of the states. 

But it seems Queenslanders are digging deeper for staff gifts, averaging $100 per employee compared to less than $50 for employees in New South Wales and Victoria. 

In spite of the quiet confidence showed by many, the Bank of Queensland Straight Talk Survey did reveal that small businesses are being more conservative with their spending in some areas this year. 

Of those small businesses that routinely send client gifts at Christmas, half said they were either spending less on clients gifts, or cutting client gifts from the budget this year.

“The fact that many businesses are moving away from lavish client gifts might be a nod to a new mood of consumerism in Australia,” Mr Musson said. 

“Although there is a general optimism regarding the economic climate going into 2010, many small businesses have adopted a less conspicuous mode of spending and a focus on sustainability over the festive season.” 

The Bank of Queensland Straight Talk Survey was sent to a sample of several hundred of the Bank’s national small business clients.