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Brits to splash more Christmas cash than Americans: Survey

Britons plan to spend more on Christmas presents this year than Americans, putting them at the top of ING's "Christmas Spending League," a new survey out on Friday.


People in Britain expect to spend 420 euros ($446) each on average, while those in the U.S. plan to splash 360 euros ($382), according to the Dutch bank.

ING surveyed 13,000 people across 12 countries in Europe, including the U.K., plus the U.S. and Australia.

"The fact that Thanksgiving, another major gift-buying occasion and the Black Friday sales are so close to Christmas could well contribute to the fact that the survey shows the amount people in the U.S. intend to spend on Christmas gifts is lower than that in the U.K.," Martha McKenzie-Minifie, editor of international consumer economics at ING, told CNBC.

The least generous were the famously frugal Dutch, who planned to spend an average of 40 euros ($42) on gifts. ING said this might be due to the early December festival of "Sinterklaas" taking precedence in the Netherlands.

Consumers in another nation known for frugality, Germany, planned to spend an average of 200 euros ($212) on gifts. Shoppers in Australia, Italy and Spain also saw themselves spending 200 euros.

Planned Xmas gift expenditure in dollars ING:

  1. U.K.— $446
  2. U.S. — $382
  3. Luxembourg — $319
  4. Austria — $265
  5. France — $265
  6. Australia — $212
  7. Germany — $212
  8. Italy — $212
  9. Spain — $212
  10. Czech Republic — $191
  11. Belgium — $159
  12. Romania — $117
  13. Poland — $74
  14. Netherlands — $42

Although U.K. shoppers may spend the most money, Romanians are seen parting with the greatest proportion of their pay. Romanians plan to spend 110 euros ($117) on gifts, amounting to about one-third (32 percent) of average monthly earnings after tax.

In comparison, Britons and Americans are seen spending 15 percent of their monthly net income.

Despite the economic situation improving across most of Europe, the survey showed that most in the region planned to spend a similar amount this year to 2014. Just one in six (16 percent) intended to spend more.


Planned Xmas gift expenditure as a % of average monthly earnings:

  1. Romania — 32 percent
  2. Czech Republic — 25 percent
  3. U.K. — 15 percent
  4. U.S. — 15 percent
  5. Italy — 12 percent
  6. Spain — 12 percent
  7. Austria — 11 percent
  8. France — 11 percent
  9. Poland — 11 percent
  10. Germany — 9 percent
  11. Luxembourg — 9 percent
  12. Australia — 7 percent
  13. Belgium — 7 percent
  14. Netherlands — 1 percent

— By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Follow her on Twitter @KatyBarnato.