Europeans are tightening their belts and spending less on Christmas gifts this year as they struggle with incomes hit by austerity measures or fear the economy could worsen in next year.
Sharp spending cuts and tax hikes caused by the debt crisis in countries such as Britain, Italy, Greece and Spain, along with fears of a recession next year, are leading many consumers to cut back their spending despite a flurry of promotions.
“Many shoppers this year find they need to consider their spending more astutely, reduce the number of people on their Christmas lists and turn to more practical and useful presents when gift giving,” said Deloitte in its annual Christmas spending survey.
The consulting firm estimated in September that overall Europeans would trim their spending on Christmas gifts, food and entertainment this year by an average of 0.8 percent to 587 euros (US$763), although the results vary considerably by country.
With the deepening of the crisis over the past two months the belt-tightening is likely to be even greater.
This is something that many Chinese manufacturers who were left with piles of unsold toys and decorations discovered first hand.
Jean-Emile Rosenblum, cofounder and vice president of the Pixmania electronics and photo publishing Web site that operates in 26 countries, estimates a 5 percent to 7 percent drop in the average sale amount as customers cut back.
“There has been a crisis effect, cheaper products are selling, consumers are looking for the cheapest prices,” he said.
“There are countries where things are getting tougher and tougher,” added Rosenblum, citing in particular southern European countries.
While Deloitte was still forecasting in September a modest gain in holiday spending in France at 1.9 percent to 606 euros per household, the CREDOC research group expects spending on gifts to fall although food expenses should hold up.
Internet retailers are some of the few to have something to cheer about as bargain-hunting consumers flock to the Web.
“In times of reduced spending people turn in particular to e-commerce,” said Xavier Garambois, head of the Amazon in France.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily