Paris is at its glittering best for the Christmas holiday season, but traders are predicting dire sales and shoppers are admitting they are not splashing out as much with France poised on the brink of recession.
“I say that you have to make Christmas special, especially for my son. Now, it’s true that during a crisis some people have to tighten their belts. But you only live once and you must do yourself some favors, especially on such occasions that happen once a year,” said one young mother.
Getting round the lack of ready cash has meant some have resorted to grabbing the Christmas bargains when they could.
“This year we planned ahead, we took our time, so by doing this we were able to keep the costs of gifts down by planning ahead. So it was all right,” said one young couple.
An auditor’s report forecast spending will be down 0.9 percent on last Christmas, at €530 on average for each French consumer. Caution appears to be the watchword for 2013.