Christmas budget is shrinking for many Berliners



Christmas budget is shrinking for many Berliners

According to the survey, 30 percent want to spend less on gifts. For many, trips and dinner invitations are on the wish lists.

Many Berliners want to spend less on gifts.

Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa

Berlin. The corona pandemic is causing financial losses for many Berliners. These also affect the plans for Christmas. 30 percent of people want to spend less money on gifts this year than they did in 2019. That is the result of a survey by Berliner Sparkasse. Most of them say they have a smaller budget due to the corona pandemic.

Others said they wanted to keep their money together because of the economic uncertainties. Still others simply lost their joy in giving away because of the 2020 corona pandemic, it said. Just under half of the capital’s residents will spend as much on Christmas gifts this year as they did last.

Coronavirus in Berlin, Germany and the world – more on the topic

Air change at the top of the wish list

Most of the people’s wish lists are trips, which are currently only possible to a very limited extent. For 37 percent of those surveyed, a change in air quality is at the top of the wish list, the Sparkasse announced on Monday. The money house had commissioned the survey from the opinion research institute Info GmbH. The opinion polls surveyed 1000 Berliners aged 16 and over by mid-November.

The desire for literature, also stated by 37 percent, is easier to satisfy, while invitations to dinner (36 percent) and tickets for cultural events (34 percent) tend to have to wait for better times. The desire for money, which 33 percent expressed, can again be fulfilled more easily in a timely manner. Most Berliners (53 percent) want to spend between 101 and 500 euros. In 2019 it was 58 percent. This year, 36 percent of those surveyed planned gifts of up to 100 euros, compared with 33 percent in the previous year. Twelve percent wanted to spend more than 500 euros, this proportion was 9 percent in 2019. 13 percent did not want to spend any money on Christmas gifts. 43 percent wanted to buy mainly online at the festival, 28 percent prefer to stroll in shops and stores.

“Berlin, with its strong focus on hospitality, tourism and entertainment, has been hit particularly hard by the economic consequences of the corona pandemic,” says Uwe Dürkop, chief economist at the Sparkasse. At the same time, for example, the food retail trade, online and mail order business and the ICT sector have grown. Berlin workers felt the financial crisis very differently.

Hospitality before lockdown at minus 44 percent

In fact, the retail sector in Berlin has gotten through the crisis to some extent, even if individual segments have been hit hard. Overall, sales from January to September were slightly above the previous year’s level. According to data from the Statistical Office, the driving force was the food trade with an increase of 4.8 percent.

Other product ranges were less in demand than in 2019. Trade outside of sales rooms, including online trade, grew disproportionately by 17 percent. The Berlin hospitality industry reported a year-on-year decline of 44.7 percent even before the November lockdown. In the catering trade it was a little less at 36.9 percent, in the hotel and catering trade a little more with a minus 44.7 percent. In September sales were almost 70 percent below the same month last year.

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