Italian Families' Spent 11% Less On Christmas Gifts In 2013

Tyler Durden's picture

According to pundits, 2012 was the worst year for the Eurozone's peripheral economies, only worse than the just as tumultuous 2011, while 2013 was - if only listens to Europe's propaganda masters - a year of recovery thanks to the ECB's "whatever it takes" mentality. Which fails to explain why families in recession-battered Italy spent 11.4% less on gifts this Christmas than last year and one in five households did without presents completely, according to the consumers' group Federconsumatori estimated on Thursday.

From ANSA:

The group said the Italian households spent an average of 131 euros each on gifts for a total of 3.35 billion euros. Another consumers' association, Codacons, said overall Christmas spending, including expenditure on food and drink as well as gifts, was down 8% this year with respect to 2012. According to Codacons' data, spending on gifts was 15% down on last year.

There was some good news:

... expenditure on food was holding up, with Italians set to spend 2.6 billion euros on their Christmas and New Year's meals.

Which makes sense: as we showed the past weekend, while retail spending in the US is also about to post its first annual decline since 2008, and no matter how hard they try, the spinmasters continue to fail explaining away how an "economic recovery" can lead to an ongoing contraction in consumption, one thing that is surging is US spending on booze.

Perhaps it is time for the Ministry of Truth to change a few aphorisms around, starting with "drowning your sorrows" to "drinking oneself under the table from all the joy a fabricated 4.1% GDP print brings."

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PrecipiceWatching's picture

I don't understand Italy's problems.

I was just in Italy this Fall; the entire beautiful country is a richly varied historical treasure and museum, and most apropos economically, was FULL of free spending tourists.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

The Italian families that I know on this side of the pond have cut back a hell of a lot more than 11%

GetZeeGold's picture



Some Canadian website developers I know are doing pretty damn good this year.


I asked them what they did last year.....they said.....not much.

Bobbyrib's picture

"I asked them what they did last year.....they said.....not much."

They didn't mention giving campaign contributions to the President? I'm not from DC or Chicago so I don't know how this whole thing works. They won't tell me in NY or NJ.

stocktivity's picture

Italians are tougher and smarter

stocktivity's picture

Italians are tougher, smarter, and weigh less than average.

wolfnipplechips's picture

12.5% unemployment, -6.9% GDP, sovereign debt 130% of GDP...Italy is already bankrupt going back to 2011 but being propped up with ECB policies/ LTRO, etc. Italy is hosed! Your perception that the "free spending" tourists is exactly what TPTB want you to have...the facade is working at least.

PrecipiceWatching's picture


Those must be some awfully powerful and manipulative PTB, because I am reporting what I saw with my own eyes, and what came out of my own pocket. 

I am fully aware of the dire economic metrics for Italy, and much of Europe.  I was just commenting that FOR WHATEVER REASON, they don't correlate with the economic vitality I witnessed and experienced firsthand.  Our trip this time,  did not even encompass the prime tourist areas.


I suspect, like the US, it is WAY too much government.  Too many talentless, lazy bureaucrats with full, well paid staffs, sitting around doing nothing except sucking the life out of the economy.

blabam's picture

Tourists at tourist locations... Lots of tourists in NY... America should be BOOMING!

PrecipiceWatching's picture

I guess you missed the statement where I indicated we were NOT at the prime tourist destinations of Italia.

blabam's picture

Still tourist destinations. 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Italy has always been full of tourists, that's not their problem.

It's everything else that's the problem.

Freddie's picture

Italy's problems got worse when they joined the Euro and right after that the EU-SSR allowed more imports from China.  They made Italian industry uncompetitive with the expensive Euro.    All Europeans are working like slaves for the EU-SSR in Brussels.  The same thing is true with the US Senate and our foreign aid.

Veto's picture

Tourists may still spend, but off-season, the Italians don't. A friend reported that the wine bar Antica Enoteca on Via della Croce was virtually empty when she visited Rome in November. Ten years ago, as far as I remember, you would rarely get a table to sit there in the afternoon, on any day or time of the year.

Rafferty's picture

All true, and in terms of industriousness, productivity and innovation the far North can hold its own with literally anywahere.  But the economy of the rest of the country is in serious decline and is overrun with millions of Africans and Arabs.

wolfnipplechips's picture

Bah humbug, bitchez! Sounds like something we In the US should consider instead of continually overspending and having credit card Christmas seasons we cannot afford.

Hedgetard55's picture

Thank goodness I am in the right business.


I heard from a customer who was in Milan lately that Italy is in very bad shape, worse than we hear in the US, and that he was told there were places in Milan itself that were unsafe to go to.

Rafferty's picture

Unsafe areas in Milan - there are some - are populated by Africans, Arabs or Roma. Be 100% sure of that.

youngman's picture

But I bet they still had a great wine and a beautiful fresh pasta....they eat and drink well there

FLHRS's picture

When some dominos start falling in Europe, that will be the trigger for all you gold bugs out there.

Ban KKiller's picture

Liquor sales up? Weed too. Time for SilverCoin Tequila and bong hits...just supporting the economy.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Newsflash: Some Italian families spent 11% MORE than last year. The < 1%.

Since Italians also like gold very much (mostly as jewelry), they get to buy more at current PM prices and stock market gains.

It pays to allocate and balance one's assets, and keep perspective. But then, they too are an old culture, with lots of 'tribal' (collective) knowledge to draw on... especially for the <1%.

NoWayJose's picture

You always wonder with Mediterranean countries if the 'cut back' in spending was really 11% or if the amount 'reported' to the tax collectors dropped 11%...  As Italian taxes increase, so does their bartering economy...

SmittyinLA's picture

Mass Muslim immigration drives down Christmas sales, wine sales and wages and the brain trust wonders why?