Christmas spending predicted to surge

Retail spending is expected to peak over the next seven days as shoppers rush to prepare for Christmas, according to the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA).

In a statement, the ANRA forecast the next week would be the biggest of the year for the retail sector as Australians spend over $8.3 billion nationally.

In this period, the ANRA predicted spending would pick up by 10 per cent compared to last week, an increase of $750 million.

The average family is expected to spend around $1,060 on Christmas festivities including gifts, food, liquor and dining, the association said.

ANRA CEO Anna McPhee said the retail sector had experienced an upswing over the past 12 months.

“Despite consumer confidence readings suggesting a cautious community, more people have returned to retail in the last 12 months and delivered growth to the sector and the economy more broadly,” he said.

“This incremental growth will assist the sector in contributing a little more than four per cent to Australia’s GDP this year.”

Ms McPhee said the sector would also boost employment, with 39,000 additional staff brought in for the December period.

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