Cyprus & World News

Cypriots keep Christmas spirit, despite crisis

23 December, 2013

Cypriots are not put off by the pessimistic mood of the economy and are keeping to their Christmas spending traditions, albeit at a slightly lesser pace than last year, a consumer poll has shown.

The second annual Pulse Seasons survey showed that fewer toys and clothing will be given as Christmas presents, and less in cash, while books have gained in popularity this year, compared to the same trends last year. There was also a marginal increase of those who opted to spend the holidays overseas this year.
“Despite the difficulties, Cypriots seem to maintain the mood for Christmas, with small changes from the last year’s habits,” said Panayiotis Panayiotou, Director of the pollster Pulse Market Research.
Strangely enough, the number of those who said they would face financial difficulty this year dropped by 5 points to 39%, while 5%, up 2 percentage points from last year, said they would go on holiday overseas.
Of the 997 adults polled in the telephone survey between November 12 and 17, some 69% of those who said they would buy toys as presents will be spending less than last year, an increase of 16 percentage points. In all, 31% said they would buy toys (-9% from last year), 32% would buy clothing and shoes (-5%) and 26% would give cash (-7%). However, 17% said they would buy books, up 3 percentage points from last year’s survey.
Compared to last year’s spending habits, 90% (-2%) said they would spend “less or no money” on holidays, 80% (+1%) on clothes and shoes, but not as gifts, 80% on entertainment and going out (+3%), 79% on gifts to friends and relatives (+5%) and 52% (+5%) on shopping for the home.
As regards habits, 87% (-5%) said they would visit friends and relatives, 50% (-9%) will organise an event at home, 34% (-9%) will go out to a Christmas party, 77% (-5%) will decorate the Christmas tree, 56% (-6%) will exchange gifts and 78% (-2%) will buy or make Christmas cakes and sweets.
The traditional Vasilopita remains the main attraction, with 87% saying they will buy and/or make one (+1%), but only 13% (-1%) will only buy one. The number of those making or buying a Christmas cake rose by 3 points to 72%, while 11% (-1%) said they would only buy one, and 81% (unchanged) said they would buy or make the melomakarona and kourapiedes sweets, while 20% (-3%) said they would only buy.