Asians in festive shopping spree as West sulks
SINGAPORE: Strong currencies and a travel boom are fuelling a festive shopping spree in Asia's retail capitals even though consumers remain wary of a new downturn, economists and retailers say.
With US and European consumers stuck in uncertainty, global brands are pinning their hopes on Asia, where the buying binge usually stretches from Christmas to the Lunar New Year which will take place in early February.
Singapore's fashionable Orchard Road is teeming with foreign shoppers, many of them from Southeast Asian countries whose currencies have appreciated sharply against the US dollar this year.
Don Triangga, a 26-yearold Indonesian tourist, said he spent 1,500 Singapore dollars (1,150 US) on a Louis Vuitton belt and a Burberry shirt, and he wasn't done yet. "The Burberry polo shirt is a gift, but the belt I use," he told AFP while sitting next to a gigantic Christmas tree in front of the swank Ion Orchard shopping mall. -Afp