Irish people want to be Santa rather than Scrooge this Christmas with many planning to spend big.

According to the annual Deloitte Christmas survey, Irish consumers are planning a spending spree this year. Most Irish people are prepared to spend an extra 8% in the shops in the lead up for Christmas. This is unlike our European neighbours who say they will be tightening their belts. This is good news for retail outlets such as Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin. Centre director Don Nugent says the high performance of the Irish economy is reflected in spending patterns.

Over 80% of the people surveyed said they would spend as much if not more than last year. Largely because they had earned more money, felt secure in jobs and were tempted by more innovative gifts. Shoppers interviewed in Dundrum Town Centre seemed to echo these findings, with a number saying they will be spending whatever they have. One woman however felt that,

Christmas is about family and traditions and not spending tons of money.

Irish people prefer presents to be fun rather than practical and they are certainly willing to pay for them. Ger Fitzgerald Manager of the Sony Centre in Dundrum says people are prepared to pay thousands depending on the product. This year’s big sellers include the Sony PSP, Microsoft xbox as well as Barbie dolls Batman toys and Power Rangers.

An RTÉ News broadcast on 22 November 2005. The reporter is Niamh Nolan.