Consumers are set to spend more this Christmas but plan to be less reliant on debt, according to research by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Consumers are expecting to spend an average of €1,200 on Christmas shopping this year. That compares to an average of €1,000 last year.

Households with children are due to spend an average of €1,600, while those aged 35-44 will spend an average of €1,500.

Almost three quarters of respondents said higher prices were behind the increase in spending.

Meanwhile 42% said they were doing so to make Christmas "extra special" this year, while 29% said it was due to them having a higher income.

However fewer consumers were planning to fund their festive spending through debt.

A quarter of consumers plan to borrow to cover Christmas costs this year, compared to one third in 2021.

Those planning to use their credit cards was down sharply, falling from 29% of consumers last year to 15% this year. Shoppers were also planning to avoid Buy Now, Pay Later offers.

"We're very glad to see that almost 70% of consumers are planning on using savings to fund their Christmas expenses this year," said Grainne Griffin, director of communications at the CCPC.

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"Having short-term savings that you can dip into at Christmas and build back up next year is a sign of good financial wellbeing," she said.

"It is very encouraging to see a clear drop in plans to use credit cards which remain one of the most expensive forms of credit available," she said. "We are also very glad to see that Irish consumers are not planning on using Buy Now, Pay Later options to fund Christmas.

"While Buy Now, Pay Later credit can be tempting and seem convenient, it can add up quickly leaving consumers swamped with hefty repayments".