Australians are tipped to spend $4 billion on Boxing Day this year – a premium on last year’s expectations of $2.6 billion – according to predictions from Commonwealth Bank.
The main driver of the excess spending, according to CBA executive general manager of everyday banking Kate Crous, are shoppers not wanting to pay full price after two years of pandemic has left them wanting to make their money go further.
“As the nation bounces back, Australians are embracing shopping and are excited to hit the sales,” said Crous.
“This is welcome news for retailers, who are keen to see consumers return after a tough few months, and is also great for consumers hoping to get good value from their shopping.”
Overall, shoppers are expected to spend 22 per cent more this December relative to all other months of the year.
And, while Covid-19 cases continue rising across the country as Omicron spreads, 41 per cent of those surveyed said they plan on shopping predominantly in-store, while 28 per cent will shop physically and digitally.
Research from Citi also found that, as Australia has continued to move beyond large-scale lockdowns and toward the holiday period, spending has risen.
“With Christmas only four sleeps away, we continue to see strong card spend,” said Citi Australia’s head of cards and loans Choong Yu Lum said.
“However, it remains to be seen if new Covid-19 variants and the rise in case numbers will extend restrictions in some states, which may result in a decrease in spending.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed back against taking a heavy hand in dealing with the spread of the Omicron variant, advising state leaders to keep their economies open despite calls from health organisations to re-enforce certain preventative measures – such as mandated indoor mask wearing and QR code check ins.
Morrison, echoing NSW leader Dominic Perrottet, said it was up to personal responsibility to stop the spread, and noting that it was time to treat Australians like adults.
“Australians know what is a common sense, responsible action to look after their own health and to look after the health of those around them,” Morrison said.
“We all have our own responsibility in our communities and for our own health.”