Most Canadians Remain Unfazed When It Comes To Holiday Spending Despite COVID-19

While most Canadians are not cutting back on their gift-giving habits this year holiday, several surveys indicate that their spending behavior has changed slightly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Equifax Canada recently released a survey where 58% of respondents stated that they would be spending the same amount on gifts they spend last year. Around 4% are planning to increase their gifting budget as well.

Only one-third of Canadians are planning to slash their holiday spending budget for the year.

AVP of Advanced Analytics at Equifax Canada Rebecca Oakes stated that Canadians were still generally optimistic about the holidays despite the coronavirus pandemic.

People are still buying presents, though they are not meeting their extended family members to prevent chances of infection during the holidays, she said. She also added that it was important to prepare a conservative budget based on one’s actual state of finances, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.

Equifax also stated that credit card utilization levels were quite low, with Q2 & Q3 2020 recording a 10% YoY drop compared to 2019. 

Consumer spending figures rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter though. The holiday season is expected to push these figures ahead in this quarter.

This survey polled over 1539 Canadians back in September. The survey revealed that over 60% were positive about the pandemic’s financial impact on their lives. Over 45% of Canadians are expecting their finances to return to a stable level in another 6 months.

CPA Canada also released their Holiday Spending Study where they revealed that 37% of Canadian holiday shoppers have allocated funds for gifts. This is just 2% less than the number of people who had a gift budget in 2019. This survey also revealed that 29% of Canadian shoppers were planning to slash their spending this year. However, the average Canadian is still expected to spend around $588 during the holidays, which is higher than last year’s $583.

The CPA Canada Holiday Spending Study was conducted by Nielsen, which used an online questionnaire to survey 2004 Canadian adults over the age of 18 who were selected at random.

On the other hand, the 2020 Holiday Retail Outlook Report from Deloitte has estimated a much higher holiday spending average budget at $1405. This is despite stating in the same report that Canadians, in general, were planning to slash their shopping budget by 18% compared to 2019.

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