A Scrooge Issue?

Or is it more of a squanderer one?


I don’t know what troubles me more here; a Germany that spends too little for Christmas or the weakest European economies that spend too much.

With almost 28 percent unemployment and a lingering recession that’s wiped out one-fourth of their country’s economic output, it makes sense that Greek consumers plan to trim their Christmas spending by 12.8 percent this year. What’s more surprising is that the average Greek budget for holiday gifts, food, and drink is €451 ($608)—more than the €399 average in Germany, the country that has borne much of the cost of a Greek bailout.

Residents of Ireland, another bailed-out economy, plan to outspend the Germans more than two to one this Christmas, with an average €894 budget. In Spain, where unemployment is at 26 percent, consumers expect to spend an average €567. In recession-hobbled Italy, meanwhile, the figure is €477.

“Differences between countries’ spending habits are linked to the culture of the countries.”

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