Rus­sia, Greece seen drag­ging down Christ­mas spend in Europe

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

PARIS: Fam­i­lies across Europe look set to spend slightly less on av­er­age this Christ­mas, with aus­ter­ity-hit Greece and Rus­sia show­ing the steep­est de­clines, a sur­vey showed yes­ter­day.

French, Bri­tish, Ger­man and Span­ish con­sumers are among those ex­pected to spend more, it said. The over­all de­cline will also be at a much slower pace than last year, sig­nalling some im­prove­ment in sen­ti­ment. The sur­vey by mar­ket re­search group Deloitte showed that the av­er­age Christ­mas bud­get across Europe would ease 0.28 per­cent this year to about 513 eu­ros ($549.63) per fam­ily.

This would be a lim­ited de­cline when com­pared with a 3 per­cent fall last year, as con­sumers’ per­cep­tions about the Euro­pean econ­omy were gen­er­ally im­prov­ing.

This year’s de­cline in Europe was led by Greece, where spend­ing will drop 8.63 per­cent to an av­er­age 402 eu­ros, Rus­sia where fam­i­lies will spend 6.96 per­cent less to 217 eu­ros, and Por­tu­gal where spend­ing will fall 5.55 per­cent to 315 eu­ros.

All three coun­tries have seen their economies bat­tered in re­cent years. Greece is in its third in­ter­na­tional bailout, Rus­sia has been hit by sanc­tions over its deal­ings with Ukraine, and Por­tu­gal is be­set by weak growth and aus­ter­ity.

Christ­mas spend­ing will also de­cline in Italy - down 3.08 per­cent - but is set to rise 0.2 per­cent in eco­nom­i­cally re­cov­er­ing Spain, Deloitte said. Among Europe’s big­gest Christ­mas shop­pers, fam­i­lies will spend 884 eu­ros on av­er­age in Bri­tain, up 0.68 per­cent from last year, 617 eu­ros in Den­mark, up 5.21 per­cent, 577 eu­ros in France, up 0.23 per­cent, and 423 eu­ros, up 0.87 per­cent in Ger­many, the poll showed. — Reuters

France re­bounds As ques­tions arose over the health of the Ger­man econ­omy, neigh­bor­ing France posted a re­turn to growth in the third quar­ter with an ex­pan­sion of 0.3 per­cent af­ter hav­ing ear­lier stalled.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Michel Sapin said the lat­est fig­ures meant France had “ex­ited the pe­riod of ex­tremely weak growth that had lasted too long”. Of the big euro-zone coun­tries, Spain grew the fastest with a 0.8 per­cent rate in the third quar­ter, though this

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