COVID-19 Pandemic has No Effect on Canadian Holiday Spending According to Surveys

Although the majority of Canadians do not plan to cut gifts this year, surveys show that holiday spending habits have changed somewhat because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by Equifax Canada, 58% of respondents said they would spend the same amount on holiday gifts as last year, with only 4% planning to spend more.

Only 33% of Canadians surveyed said they plan to spend less on gifts this year.

“Despite COVID-19, people still have a good level of optimism when preparing for the holiday season,” said Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice president of Equifax Canada’s Advanced Analytics team, in a press release.

According to Equifax, credit card usage remained low with a 10% decrease compared to Q2 and Q3 2019.

But consumer spending rebounded back to pre-COVID levels in Q3. The holidays will boost card usage in Q4.

The September online survey, polling 1,539 Canadians using Leger’s online dashboard, found that 6 out of 10 Canadians viewed the financial impact of the pandemic in a more positive direction, with nearly half (45%) expecting their household finances to stabilize over the next six months.

Similarly, Professional Accountants Canada’s Annual Vacation Expenditures Study (CPA Canada) found that 37% of holiday shoppers spent money on gifts in 2020 – just less than 2%. compared to those who are budgeting for gift giving in 2019.

The CPA survey found that while 29% of shoppers plan to spend less this year due to the pandemic, Canadians still intend to spend an average of $ 588 this holiday season, slightly higher. compared to $ 583 reported in 2019.

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