The HGK estimate that spending over the festive season will be on a par with last year’s spending.
“It will be similar to last year. If we look back, in 2001 spending in December was 5 billion kuna (650 million euros). From then there was growth right up to the golden year of 2008 when spending in December reached 12.5 billion kuna (1.6 billion euros). With the global ecomomic crisis hitting just after 2008 there has been a slght decline over the last few years and the amount spent has stagnated at 11 billion kuna. Because of deflation, Croatian citizens will buy more with 11 billion kuna in December 2014 than they purchased with 11 billion kuna last year,” said Tomislava Ravlić from the HGK.
Taking into account the current economic situation, HGK says that customers have become more rational, with consumers purchasing more practical Christmas gifts such as as clothing, shoes, food, drinks, toys, and books, compared to their European counterparts who purchase more luxury items such as jewelry, travel and dining out at restaurants.
“Croatians spend 50% less of their income on cultural events and recreation than what European citizens spend,” said Ravlić, adding that again from 19 to 24 December will be when most money is spent in the shops in Croatia.