Sinterklaas and Santa Claus throw less money this holiday season. Less is spent on clothing, toys and games in particular than last year, according to research by ABN Amro.

    This year’s festive mood will be considerably reduced by all the rising prices and the concern and uncertainty surrounding their own financial situation. As a result, many consumers will keep their purse strings and make different choices when shopping, predict ABN Amro and Q&A Insights & Consultancy based on a survey of 1226 Dutch people.

    In this report, 40 percent of the Dutch who buy gifts during the holidays say they have a (much) lower budget than last year. Women in particular say they watch their money during the holidays. This also applies to households with a lower income and people who are more concerned about finances.

    The latter applies to no less than a third of the respondents. Young people and people in lower income groups in particular fall into this category. The people who have less budget for gifts this year have different reasons.


    Almost six in ten point to price increases as the culprit. As a result, they have difficulty making ends meet every month. About 45 percent say they are more careful because of the uncertain times. At the same time, there is also a group (49 percent) that expects to spend the same amount or even more than last year (11 percent).

    According to Henk Hofstede, advisor to companies in the retail sector at ABN Amro, the budget of a group may have remained the same or increased slightly, but prices have also risen sharply in the meantime: “We therefore expect that many consumers will experience a smaller fair or will be careful.”

    He expects that offers and gifts at affordable prices will be more important this year for the sober Sinterklaas and Santa Claus. In the survey, at least three-quarters of the respondents say they want to do their shopping differently during the holidays. For example, they indicate that they buy more offers (51 percent), they exchange A brands for house brands and/or B brands (29 percent) and they want to shop in cheaper supermarkets (28 percent). This shift is already visible, by the way.

    What do purchasing power, inflation and average income mean again? Read it in our economics glossary.

    In addition to the behavioral changes of consumers in supermarkets, ABN Amro expects people to spend considerably less money on certain categories. For example, the ‘balance’ was measured when asked whether respondents would buy (much) more, the same amount or (much) less in a certain category. In the clothing and shoes categories, the balance is more versus less at -24 percent, followed by sports (-18 percent), toys and games (-17 percent) and gift items (-16 percent).

    ‘Almost all sectors are affected’

    Hofstede: ,,We expect that the retail sector can expect a drop in turnover during the upcoming holidays. Almost all sectors are affected, although the differences are large. Only supermarkets seem to be growing.”

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