Federconsumatori, the national watchdog, has forecast an average spend of €132 on presents per family, an 11.2 percent drop from last year's spend of €148. The watchdog estimates that the biggest cutbacks will be made on furniture items, clothes, shoes and perfume.
“These initial results show a disheartening situation,” Federconsumatori noted.
Italians, however, are still willing to spend on Christmas dinner and presents for their children, with sales in toys and food showing the smallest drop.
Federconsumatori called the decreases a “dangerous trend” and said measures must be taken to stimulate a boost in market demand, such as sales immediately after Christmas, like in other countries, and removing duty taxes from Christmas bonuses.