Staff Reporter

PALMA
SPANISH consumers will this Christmas spend some 17.5 percent less than last year on buying presents, while the increase in prices of some of the basic food products will force them to spend 15 percent more on festive eating.

With all these price rises, Spanish families will spend some 951 euros average on the Christmas holidays, some 5.1 percent more than last year.
These are the main conclusions of a study by Deloitte, published on Monday, about Christmas consumption habits in Europe.
According to these consultants, budgets for presents and food in Spain will be equal this year, in comparison with 2006 when consumers spent on presents more than double what they spent on food. “At Christmas we let the heart guide the head, but this year both the head and the purse are going to put restrictions on the heart”, said Juan Jose Roque, one of the heads of Deloitte, who added that Spanish families will have to spend more if they want to maintain the level of their eating during other years. With regard to the presents, clothes head the list for the most purchased, followed by books, journeys, cosmetics, and music. In addition to this, in the majority of cases, the most expensive present is for the person's partner.

Some 56 percent of those questioned said that they will make all their Christmas food purchases in a hypermarket, while 40 percent said they will go tto he large department stores to buy their presents. Those who dare to buy on the internet are still very few. Only 10 percent of consumers will make their purchases online.

These figures coincide with the start of the Christmas publicity campaign, which has already been flooding the TV screens with adverts for toys, and coloured lights. According to the President of the Toy Manufacturers Association their investment in publicity will be more than 100 million euros.

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