Canadians to Stuff their Stockings with Gifts Bought at Home: Scotiabank Holiday Spending Study

    TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - As the last holiday shopping weekend is
approaching, Canadians are feeling generous. According to Scotiabank's Holiday
Spending Study, Canadians are planning to spend an average of $907 on overall
holiday spending this year, up from the $822 they were planning to spend last
year. The good news for Canadian retailers is that of those surveyed, the
majority of shoppers plan to buy gifts here at home.
    "Deck the malls with goods aplenty because Canadians are shopping in
town," said Aron Gampel, Scotiabank's Deputy Chief Economist.
    The Study shows that Canadians are in a confident shopping mood,
supported by continuing job and income gains, strong regional economic
performances, lower retail prices courtesy of a stronger currency, and recent
government tax cuts. "Throw in for good measure more traditional 'cold and
white' weather, and you have the makings of a holiday shopping season that
should warm the hearts of our seasonal merchandisers and tourism providers,"
said Mr. Gampel.
    However, he cautions that "with the high-flying loonie at roughly parity
with its U.S. counterpart, cross-border shopping trips will remain an
attractive alternative for Canadian buyers, even with the competitive
adjustments to domestic prices."
    The majority of Canadians (78 per cent) said they will not buy their
holiday gifts from retailers located in the U.S. The exchange rate between the
Canadian and U.S. dollars had no influence on most Canadians (60 per cent) in
terms of their decision.
    Regionally, Canadians from Manitoba and Saskatchewan (75 per cent),
Quebec (68 per cent), and the Atlantic region (65 per cent) said they have no
plans to buy their gifts from the U.S., while 16 per cent of Albertans said
that they are most likely to do so.

                 Intended Gift Buying from Retailers in the U.S. - 2007
                 Atlantic    Quebec   Ontario  Man/Sask    Alberta     B.C.
    will not        65%        68%      64%       75%        54%       59%
    will            10%         7%      12%        8%        16%        7%

    In terms of overall spending, once again, Atlantic Canadians are opening
their wallets more often than any other region this holiday season ($1,119),
while Quebec shoppers are planning to spend the least at an average of $641.

                      Intended Overall Holiday Spending - 2007
                Atlantic     Quebec   Ontario  Man/Sask     Alberta    B.C.
                   $           $         $        $            $        $
    Average     $1,119        $641     $1,073     $799       $946      $841
    Amount      (up $70      (up $15  (up $168  (down $26  (up $110  (up $25
    Plan to      from         from     from       from       from      from
    Spend        2006)        2006)    2006)      2006)      2006)     2006)

    Of the total holiday spending this year, the majority will be on gifts
(77 per cent) with an average spend of $696, up from $621 last year. Topping
the list of lucky gift recipients again this year are family members -
children in particular.
    Similar to last year, clothing (41 per cent) is the most popular gift to
give, followed by toys (25 per cent) and electronics (23 per cent). Giving the
gift of choice - gift cards (17 per cent) - is once again high on the
gift-giving list. Of those surveyed, the top gifts to receive are clothing (23
per cent) and electronics (17 per cent).
    This study was conducted for Scotiabank using Decima's teleVox panel.
Data collection was conducted via CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone
Interviewing). A total of 774 interviews were completed between December 7
and 10, 2007. A random sample was generated for the month of December and
quotas were established by each region. The quotas were instilled to maintain
an adequate number of completed interviews in Canada's three largest markets:
Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Final data are weighted by age and sex within
region and are considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19
times out of 20.

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 60,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12 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 $412 billion in assets (as at October 31, 2007), Scotiabank trades on the
Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit

For further information:

For further information: Aron Gampel, Deputy Chief Economist,
Scotiabank, (416) 866-6259 or; Patty
Stathokostas, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-3625,

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