Consumers More Positive About Holiday Shopping

Consumers and small business owners were feeling more positive about holiday shopping leading into Black Friday, says data from Equifax Canada. Equifax consumer data also suggests their optimism is on target with average credit card spend trending up, increasing by 17.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020. Average monthly spend on credit cards is over $1,400 this quarter, the highest in the last three years. “Credit cards have been the slowest product to recover from the pandemic and show a similar trend across other countries as well,” says Rebecca Oakes, Equifax Canada’s assistant vice-president of advanced analytics. “Seasonality, pent up demand, and people beginning to travel again combined with a rise in inflation can be attributed to higher spend behaviour.” Looking forward to holiday shopping, two-thirds of survey respondents (64 per cent) plan to spend about the same as last year and nine per cent expect to spend more. These numbers are up substantially compared to 2020 when 58 per cent said they would spend the same and four per cent said they would spend more. Small business owners are also more confident going into the holiday shopping season. Over half (56 per cent) say they will be taking extra steps this holiday season to attract business, including offering sales/discounts (25 per cent), investing more in social media (21 per cent), or offering free delivery (16 per cent).