The National Retail Association (NRA) is predicting that Australians will spend around $63 billion between now and the end of December.

This is below pre-Christmas spending last year which hit $66.8 billion - as reported by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in partnership with Roy Morgan.

Earlier this month, the ARA made its prediction on pre-Christmas spending to be $66.8 billion, in line with last year’s result.

In comparison, ARA and Roy Morgan predicted last year’s result to be $66 billion.

NRA director Rob Godwin said the industry was expecting a generally flat sales period, with little-to-no growth compared with last year.

“We are predicting the industry as a whole will have around the same result as last year – probably in the area of $63 billion nationwide,” Godwin said.

“We are already seeing around 40 per cent of retailers beginning the discounting cycle, in order to get consumers to open their wallets.

“As a result, it’s shaping up as very much a buyers’ Christmas, with great deals already available for those who get in early.”

Godwin said the high point for the sector was the increasing popularity of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales event. Recent estimates by the ARA and Roy Morgan predict $6.36 billion to be spent on next weekend’s sales event alone.

“This grows in popularity every year and is now challenging the traditional Boxing Day and post-Christmas sales period as Australia’s premier shopping event.

“We will see around 10 per cent of the entire festive season spend take place over those four days later this month.

Godwin said its good news for both shoppers and retail workers and business owners.

“They rely on a strong pre-Christmas sales period to carry them through the quieter months of the following year,” Godwin said.

“While we know people are tightening their belts at the moment, the good news is that there are bargains to be found out there. 2023 will definitely be a buyers’ Christmas.”

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