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.
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."