22 Dec 2009

Christmas spending expected to be higher

3:54 pm on 22 December 2009

The Retailers' Association is predicting that this year's Christmas sales figures will be well above last year's.

The prediction's in line with the views of retailers, who say this Christmas season is a turning away from the worst of the economic downturn.

The chief executive of the Retailers Association, John Albertson, says sales in the run-up to Christmas appear to be about 4%-5% higher than last year's.

He says that's particularly pleasing because inflation levels are low, which indicates that the growth is in volumes rather than prices.

Online retailer TradeMe says its sales are also up on this time last year. Chief executive Jon Macdonald attributes that to a combination of shoppers seeking a bargain and retailers seeking alternative methods of distributing their products.

However, some retailers fear the season may have peaked early, and they are hopeful for strong sales in the final three shopping days to Christmas.