12/20/2011 04:27 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST

Christmas Spending Up 7%, Survey Suggests


Canadians are going to spend seven per cent more over the current holiday season than they did in 2010, a BMO poll released Tuesday suggests.

The increase, up $92 to $1,397 per person, will largely go on entertaining. Gift purchases are predicted to drop by more than $30 to $613, while entertaining is up by more than $100 to $307, the poll suggests.

The section "trips" is flat at about $360, while "other" accounts for $148.

Albertans will spend much more than the average, at total of nearly $1,600 each, followed by about $1,500 for B.C. residents.

In Ontario and the Atlantic region, spending will be about $1,420 while Quebec is below the average, at $1,320.

Most Canadians will not get a year-end bonus to help with extra spending, another BMO poll suggests.

About 29 per cent expect they will get a bonus, the poll suggested. In that group, roughly half expect the bonus to be the same as 2010, about 30 per cent expect it to be bigger and about 20 per cent smaller.

BMO did not provide comparison figures for 2010, but "there is little doubt that global economic uncertainty has proved to be challenging for many Canadian businesses this year," said Cathy Pin, vice-president of commercial banking.

Among those who were eligible to get a bonus, 53 per cent suggested they would pay down debt, 23 per cent said they would pay for holiday spending, 17 per cent would treat themselves with a new consumer purchase and 15 per cent said they would take a vacation.