finds Parents Spend 64% More per Child on Christmas Presents than in 1995

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Parents in the UK have spent progressively more on Christmas presents for their children than they did in 1995. Research conducted by the price comparison site shows that, even accounting for inflation-related price increases over the period 1995-2010, parents spent on average 64% more.

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Many families feel under pressure to make each Christmas an improvement on the last, even when funds do not allow for an increase in spending.

Consumer research on Christmas spending by polling companies YouGov, GFK NOP, Touche Ross (now Deloitte) and Opinium Research was analysed by over the 15 year period to gauge the annual Christmas spend by parents on children aged under 18.

In 1995 the average Christmas spend by parents per child hit £75. Accounting for CPI inflation today's figure lies at £107. However, with parental spending hitting an average of £168 per child last Christmas, a trend which looks set to continue this festive season, the pattern is clear: Parents do indeed now spend more on their children than in 1995. This whilst the economic outlook continues to look uncertain, the CPI at its highest level since its introduction, unemployment higher and double-digit percentage price increases for energy and heating.

“We thought it would be interesting to find statistical evidence to support the widely held belief that parents were now spending more money on their children than yesteryear” stated Christoph Hitchen, marketing manager at “Our analysis of the Christmas consumer research over the last 15 years would appear to back up this sentiment. However, whilst it maybe that parents have become more generous, the price of bestselling toys, games and products has been creeping up over time. These factors combined with aggressive marketing at children and peer-pressure have made an increase in spending inevitable. Many families feel under pressure to make each Christmas an improvement on the last, even when funds do not allow for an increase in spending.”

With the average console game for Xbox360 or Playstation 3 costing in the region of £40, not withstanding the cost of the console itself, and tablet PCs and laptops increasingly popular, it is unsurprising that the average has been pushed up so dramatically. Expected Christmas bestsellers on such as the Vtech InnoTab, a tablet computer designed for children, start at £75, whilst larger popular Lego products also cost upwards of £100.

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Notes: Official CPI inflation measure introduced in UK in 1996. 1995 CPI inflation measure is unofficial.
CPI inflation figures taken from the ONS.
Child defined as person under 18 years of age.
Information taken from nationally representative polling data.


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Christoph Hitchen

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