Norwegians plan to spend less this Christmas than last year

Christmas shoppingChristmas shopping.Photo:

According to a survey from Respons Analysis for DNB Bank, Norwegians will spend almost NOK 46 billion, an average of NOK 11,100 each this Christmas, a lesser average amount than last year. Over half of the expense will go toward gifts.


The burgeoning growth of Christmas consumption is over. Spending on Christmas celebrations peaked in 2011, and has since been moderated, said consumer economist, Silje Sandmæl, of DNB bank to NTB news agency.

The biggest cut since 2011 has been on the gift front. Six years ago, we were spending more than NOK 7,000 on Christmas presents, whereas this year, the plan is to spend an average of NOK 5,700.

Meeting costs with reality

One thing is what we plan, another thing is what we do. According to a survey made of Christmas last year, also from Respons Analysis, for Sparebank 1, 16%, one in six respondents were afraid of having poor finances in January because Christmas
consumption had been too high and their bank account was empty.

‘Usually people are using a little more than they bargained for,’ said Sandmæl.

She thinks that careful planning is the key to not spending more than one can afford.

‘Last year, only 7% of us set up a Christmas budget. A Christmas budget helps you keep track of all costs, while giving consumers a good overview of all the tasks they need to do,’ she said.

In total, we’ll spend more money this year than last year, due to population growth. Forecasts estimate that NOK 45.8 billion will be spent on Christmas trade in total, against NOK 45.5 billion in 2016.

Both Virke and DNB confirm that their forecasts for Christmas trade tend to be relatively accurate when the final results become available in the new year.

Spreading costs

In recent years, gift costs have been around 52 to 53% of total consumption.

‘I don’t think it’s surprising, but it’s a lot of money, and it’s important that we have an overview of the gift budget,’ said Sandmæl.

In recent years, there is a trend for us to spread the shopping over time, and also in several venues. Last year, DNB Markets reported that Black Friday’s trading day at the end of November took the bulk of Christmas trade in December.

There is also increased online shopping in Norway, which may have been one of the reasons why ‘Posten’ and ‘Bring’ last year set a new record for distribution of packages in December, with 3.7 million of them, an increase of 5%.

The DNB economist proposed that people write a list for who to shop all gifts for, what to get, and a maximum price.

‘Think carefully about what to give, something they want. Compare prices, it’s easy to do online. Perhaps you can think alternatively, and give away an experience, something homemade, or give away a favour,’ said Sandmæl.


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