ECONOMY

Greeks can’t help spending on gifts

Despite the ongoing financial crisis, Greek consumers say they will eventually spend almost as much as they have in previous years due to certain inflexible spending requirements on presents, food and for social functions, according to a number of studies. Surveys conducted last month by Deloitte, Mastercard and Focus Bari converge in the conclusion that Greek households will spend an additional 700 euros in the last two weeks of the year, mostly on gifts and food. Estimates show that during this period there will be more than 2 billion euros spent on the market, including about 150 million euros going to toy stores. A smaller amount will be spent on covering various debts, such as credit cards, loans etc. According to Deloitte, out of the extra 700 euros spent during the festive season on average, approximately 300 euros will go toward the purchase of presents, 240 will go on food and 160 for various social occasions. Mastercard and Focus Bari concur that close to five in 10 Greeks will spend their holiday bonus on gifts for their loved ones. Three in every five people, and particularly those aged between 35 and 44 years, said that their consumer behavior during Christmas changes and is different than that of the rest of the year, stating that they «cannot resist buying gifts.» Greeks prefer to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere at home with their loved ones instead of traveling, with two out of three questioned saying they would not leave home for the holidays.