Ho! Ho! Ho! Canadians to keep their wallets open during the holiday shopping
season: Scotiabank study

TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - With 10 shopping days to go before Christmas, Canadians are planning to spend a bit more during this holiday season than they did last year when the recession's grip on the economy was tightening. According to Scotiabank's 2009 Holiday Spending Study, Canadians expect to spend $891 this year on average, compared to $884 last year.

"Canadians have a lot to cheer about this holiday shopping season now that the economy is slowly but surely on the mend," says Aron Gampel, Scotiabank's Deputy Chief Economist. "A number of favourable factors - businesses are hiring again, governments are keeping their spending taps wide open, retailers are offering competitive pricing, and borrowing costs are still low - should help put a little more cheer into still cautious holiday spending plans."

Regionally, Albertans are planning to spend the most on getting ready for the holidays ($1,087), while those in Quebec will be spending the least ($814). When it comes to gift giving, Atlantic Canadians top the list, spending an average of $798. While B.C. consumers will be spending the least on gifts ($547), they are allocating more than any other region on non-gift related spending ($392) such as holiday travel, food and entertainment.

The number one gift to give this holiday season is gift cards (53 per cent), followed by clothing (47 per cent) and toys (40 per cent). Items topping the wish lists of many Canadians are gift cards (44 per cent), electronics (35 per cent) and cash (35 per cent).

    
    Spending Intentions Across the Country

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Intended Holiday Spending
                -------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Region
                        -----------------------------------------------------
                 Total   Atlantic  Quebec  Ontario  Man/Sask  Alberta   BC
                   $        $        $        $        $        $        $
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average       $891   $1,038     $814     $848     $903    $1087     $939
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Intended Gift Spending
                -------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Region
                        -----------------------------------------------------
                 Total   Atlantic  Quebec  Ontario  Man/Sask  Alberta   BC
                   $        $        $        $        $        $        $
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average       $607     $798     $551     $601     $576     $752     $547
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other Interesting Facts

    -   Spouses/partners top the gift giving list this year (63 per cent)
        this year, followed by parents and children (tied at 57 per cent);
    -   While the majority of Canadians (93 per cent) will shop in person for
        their gifts this year, men (42 per cent) are more likely than women
        (35 per cent) to shop online, while women (13 per cent) are more
        likely than men (7 per cent) to shop by catalogue or mail order; and
    -   Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 (51 per cent) are more likely
        to give gifts of entertainment, food and beverages.
    

This study was conducted for Scotiabank using Harris/Decima's online panel. A total of 1,011 online surveys were completed among a random sample of Harris/Decima online panel members. The study was conducted between November 10th, 2009 through November 16th, 2009. This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email addresses from our panel were pulled at random, according to population and gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to ensure that respondents can participate only one time. Subsequent to completion of the study, the data was weighted for region, age, and gender.

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With close to 68,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12.8 million customers in some 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With more than $496 billion in assets (as at October 31, 2009), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information: For further information: Aron Gampel, Deputy Chief Economist, Scotiabank, (416) 866-6259 or aron_gampel@scotiacapital.com; Scotiabank Public Affairs: Patty Stathokostas, (416) 866-3625, patty_stathokostas@scotiacapital.com; In the Prairies: Deborah Spence, Cell: (403) 612-3317, Deborah.spence@scotiabank.com; In B.C.: Michelle Cobb, Cell: (778) 668-2995, michelle.cobb@scotiabank.com


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