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.”

Speaking of spending…

This is news? Well the amount is rather newsworthy, I guess. That ever-busy German Federal Office for Statistics has just determined that American consumers spend more than their German counterparts do. Like, I had no idea.


 Consume doom


On average, the American consumer spends 5000 euros a year more than the German consumer does (and yes, there is more than one). But that was then and this is now. Americans apparently don’t want to spend so much anymore, for some strange reason, so it’s up to the Germans and Co. to pick up the slack and save the world’s economy and start shopping till they drop already.


I believe this will happen, too. But, then again, I also believe that Santa Claus is actually the Easter Bunny (and vice versa) and that monkeys regularly fly out of Peer Steinbrück’s… You know; ears.


„Demnach lagen im vergangenen Jahr die jährlichen Konsumausgaben pro Einwohner in Deutschland mit 17 073 Euro deutlich unter dem US-Wert von 22 457 Euro.“