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10 percent less turnover with Christmas presents expected this year

This year Germans plan to spend on average 221 Euros (per capita) on Christmas presents which is 10% less than last year (246 Euros). Most money is to be spent on vouchers, clothing and books. This is the finding of a study by the Ernst & Young consultancy firm in the course of which 2000 consumers were interviewed.

As was already the case last year, books will also this year be the most popular presents in Germany: 59% of consumers plan to give books as a present. Also popular are clothing and CD or DVDs (50% and 47%). 52% plan to give money or vouchers as a present. With regard to DVD-players, HiFi sound equipment or flat-screen tv sets, these, on the other hand, either do not seem to be appropriate Christmas presents or are just too expensive given that according to the Ernst & Young study only 32% want to buy such presents.

Germans plan to spend most money on vouchers and money gifts (on average 34 Euros following 32 Euros in 2007). However, almost all product groups will generate less turnover than last year. In particular clothing will be affected by a drop in demand. On average each German wants to spend 25 Euros on clothing following 32 Euros in 2007.

According to Ernst & Young, the propensity to buy is significantly affected by the looming economic crisis. High inflation had already curbed demand, but in the wake of the financial crisis and bad news from major companies consumers are even more cautious now.

Demand differs according to gender. Thus, women want to spend more money on vouchers (women: 42 Euros / men: 25 Euros), books (27/23), clothing (34/29) and toys (21/15), while men prefer consumer electronics (men: 21 Euros / women: 12 Euros) and jewelry (15/9).

There are also differences with regard to consumers in the east and west of Germany. People in the east of Germany want to spend more money (237 Euros on average per capita) on Christmas presents than those in the west (217 Euro). Furthermore, Germans in the east prefer vouchers and gifts of money (east: 54 Euros, west: 32 Euros), but also their spending on books, cosmetics and foodstuff/sweets is higher than that of people in West Germany. West Germans, on the other hand, spend more money on clothing, jewelry and consumer electronics.

When selecting their presents Germans pay particular attention to quality and functionality: to 81% (east) and 69% (west) these criteria are of high importance when buying a present. To 42% of Germans environmental considerations play an important role and 37% of respondents said that to them it is important in which country a certain product is manufactured. Only about 20% of interviewees said that they attach importance to the brand name of a product.

A summary of 11 pages is available for free-of-charge download. GERMAN