By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Freight and logistics company DHL claims a poll of 600 of its customers shows Christmas spending is well down on last year with only 44 per cent willing to splurge on gifts, compared to 56 per cent last year.

The company claims its survey shows consumers are being impacted by rising living costs associated with higher interest rates and rent rises.

“As well as Scrooge-mania hitting shoppers, there seems to be no trust in what people expect to receive from their nearest and dearest this year,” said DHL Express Australia marketing manager, Helen Price, who said consumers are generally not confident in receiving a present they like this Christmas.

“Practical gift vouchers are what people want to receive most,” she said.

The survey also found electronic gadgets rated high on consumers’ wish lists with 14 per cent saying they would like to receive ‘big people toys’ such as IT and AV products.

Just four per cent of respondents would like to receive a gift from Oxfam or a similar charity. Instead, DHL said most opted for practical presents such as clothes and accessories, or household items.|

According to DHL, around 65 per cent of businesses propose to close over Christmas, with 28 per cent planning two weeks off and 23 per cent one week.