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How much Canadians across the country plan to spend this holiday season

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The national average Canadians are planning to spend on holiday shopping is $675, according to a survey by Leger for the Retail Council of Canada. But how does that average break down within certain regions? – Nov 19, 2018

How much are Canadians planning to drop on holiday spending this year? It depends on who you ask, of course. But it also depends on where you ask.

A recent survey done by Leger for the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) shows consumers plan to spend $675 on average on everything from gifts to travel to food and entertainment. But the national average conceals significant regional variations.

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In Ontario, for example, the average projected spend is $805, almost double the $458 Quebecers say they will devote to the holidays.

Here’s the provincial breakdown from the survey:

Budgeting plans also vary considerably across the country. A majority of Canadians (65 per cent) say they have either an inflexible or at least somewhat firm holiday budget in mind. Albertans, though, are much more likely to say they have a hard spending limit. By contrast, less than two in 10 Ontarians said so.

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But intentions are one thing and actual holiday shopping is, sometimes, another. One in three Canadians said they ended up spending more than they meant to last year. Quebecers, though, were most likely to say they managed to stick to their budget.

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The survey also shows that Black Friday has definitively eclipsed Boxing Day as Canadians’ preferred shop-till-you-drop event. Some 40 per cent said they plan to take advantage of Black Friday discounts, while 30 per cent have their eye on Cyber Monday. While 35 per cent are still planning to go deal hunting on Boxing Day, the poll found consumers plan to spend much less than on Black Friday.

But while Canadians are buying into America’s post-Thanksgiving shopping mania, they’re doing so in an increasingly patriotic spirit, the survey suggests.

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Most respondents (87 per cent) said they believed it was important to buy from a retailer in Canada this season, and more than one in three (35 per cent) said buying Canadian seemed more important this year than it did last year.

“The negotiation of the new [U.S.-Canada-Mexico] free trade agreement seems to have stirred national pride and the importance of supporting retailers in Canada,” RCC president and CEO Diane Brisebois said in a statement.

About the survey:

The 2018 RCC Holiday Shopping Survey was conducted online by Leger 2,504 with a nationally representative sample of males and females 18+ between Oct. 10 and Oct. 22, 2018 using Leger’s online panel Legerweb. The survey was fielded in both English and French. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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