Price shock has an impact
Christmas will be so much more expensive
By Christina Lohner and Laura Stresing
December 5, 2023, 7:31 p.m
Chocolate costs significantly more this year than last. Other prices are now stabilizing. If you don’t want to compromise on food, trees and gifts, you have to be prepared for significantly higher expenses overall.
In view of inflation and the international crises, the Germans’ purchasing mood is still in the basement. A good half of employees receive a Christmas bonus, especially those who are paid according to the collective agreement. But even at Christmas the money is no longer easy. This year, people want to spend an average of 304 euros on gifts, only 5 euros more than last year, according to a GFK survey. That is still less than in the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, which were more than 320 euros each. Around one in three plans to limit their gifts this year, while only one in four expects to spend more.
Especially those who have to save and give gifts to children can be happy that the prices for toys have risen significantly less than consumer prices overall. Last year, toys cost on average only about the same in October as they did in October 2021, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office. And this despite the fact that the overall inflation rate last year was an average of 6.9 percent. In October of the current year, toys were 2.9 percent more expensive than in the same month last year.
The situation is different when it comes to Christmas dinner; food prices have risen significantly more. According to the GFK survey, three quarters of households with low net incomes plan to save on food for Christmas. No wonder: In October these were almost a third more expensive than in 2020. Compared to the same month last year, food now cost 6.1 percent more.
Chocolate is another 13 percent more expensive
Inflation has now fallen somewhat more for meat, which cost four percent more than in the same month last year. At that time, however, the price jump compared to the previous year was a whopping 19.3 percent. This year, some customers may have already gotten used to the expensive Christmas roast.
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Saving money on chocolate is becoming more difficult. Here the price increase in October was still 12.8 percent. In the same month last year, prices had climbed by 11.3 percent, not quite as much as for meat, for example. Compared to 2020, chocolates now also cost almost a third more.
Two euros more for the tree
The price increases for Christmas trees were not as steep as for food. Last year, according to the Federal Association of Christmas Tree Producers, customers spent an average of 36.70 euros, with the tree being an average of 1.70 meters tall. For this year, board member Christian Mai expects around two euros more, as he calculated in an interview with ntv.de. That would be around 5.5 percent more than in the previous year.
The association estimates the current price range for a Nordmann fir – the most popular Christmas tree in this country – to be 21 to 29 euros per linear meter. Last year, according to May, the framework was 21 to 27 euros; On average, customers spent a good 2.50 euros more than in the previous year. Before that, the prices had not been increased since 2019, although there are regional differences.
If you need or want to save on a tree, you can’t just save on the size. For blue spruce, manufacturers estimate the price per meter at 13 to 18 euros, while red spruce is even cheaper at 10 to 15 euros. In Mai’s eyes, the investment is definitely worth it: the producer considers Christmas trees to be a beacon of hope.