Spain Set To Enjoy Best Christmas Season In Years

Spain Set To Enjoy One Of Best Christmas Seasons In Years

Spain Set To Enjoy One Of Best Christmas Seasons In Years

Spain is hoping for a good dose of Christmas cheer this year as families are forecast to spend more on seasonal shopping for the first time since 2008.

Christmas spending is set to rise 1 per cent in Spain after falling 4 per cent in 2012, according to a survey by market research group Deloitte. It sees the average Christmas budget across Europe rising 0.7 per cent in 2013 to about 450 euros per family. But the average Spanish family will shell out 671 euros, compared to 659 euros in 2012.

The Spanish have traditionally spent more on Christmas than any other country in Europe after the UK and Ireland. But a property crash five years ago – which pushed the unemployment rate to over 27 per cent and swelled public debt – left Santa seriously strapped for cash.

So what will fuel this year’s expected spending spree? Here are some key factors:

• The re-instating of the extra payment received just before Christmas by Spain’s civil servants, who are usually paid 14 times a year.  This December payment was axed in 2012 as part of a government austerity programme.

• The country’s current high tourist occupancy rate – building on a record summer for Spain’s tourism industry.

• The perceived recovery in consumer confidence.  This rose to 72.30 in November from 65.30 in October, according to the Official Credit Institute.

RETAIL SALES RISE BODES WELL FOR CHRISTMAS

Spain has revealed a raft of positive economic data in the last three months as it finally shrugs off a two-year recession. There are signs that consumers are venturing out on to the high street again, ready to open their wallets.

In September, Spanish retail sales rose for the first time since June 2010, marking the first year-on-year increase after 38 consecutive falls and hinting at a recovery in domestic consumption. While sales did drop again in October, they fell by just 0.5 per cent, the lowest contraction in three years.

And there’s more good news! Household spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the country’s economic output, grew 0.4 per cent in the third quarter after six quarters of declines.

TOURISTS ALSO BOOST FESTIVE SPENDING

After a record summer season, Spain’s hotels are still enjoying relatively high occupancy rates, particularly urban establishments, which have become a preferred destination for many international visitors.

Tourists from as far afield as Russia and Japan are keeping the tills busy at luxury goods stores in cities like Madrid and Barcelona, snapping up a variety of stocking fillers. Restaurants and bars are also benefitting from the influx of tourists keen to sample Iberian bellota ham and fine Rioja wines.

For information on Spain’s economy, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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