Czechs are borrowing more than ever to buy Christmas presents for their relatives and friends, suggests a survey carried out among the country’s non-banking consumer lenders. In the months preceding the festive season, loan firms are traditionally recording an increase in the number of loan applications.
"This year’s increase is really enormous. The number of loan requests has grown by nearly a third compared to the rest of the year,” Pavel Klema, head of Profi Credit, told the Czech News Agency.
According to Mr. Klema, the Christmas season is traditionally the biggest financial burden of the whole year for most families in the Czech Republic. Along with the growing interest in loans, the amount borrowed is increasing as well. Last year, Czechs borrowed on average 10,825 crowns to help them finance the festive season. This year, the average loan is 12, 520 crowns.
“The increase by more than 15 percent suggests that Czech households are optimistic and they are willing to spend more,” Mr. Klema told the Czech News Agency.
Another loan company, Home Credit, has registered a five percent increase in loan requests. According to the company’s spokeswoman Zuzana Bienvenu, Home Credit grants around a third of its loans during the festive season. The Czech Republic’s e-shops are expecting record sales this Christmas season. According to the estimate of the country’s Association of E-Commerce (APEK), the sales figures should reach around 44 billion crowns, which represents a year-on-year increase by six billion crowns.
Czechs are prepared to spend on average 11,000 crowns for Christmas presents food and decorations.
With the increasing number of internet orders, the volume of packages sent during the upcoming Christmas season is expected to increase by around 50 percent. For example Czech Post is expected to deliver around 350,000 packages a day in the weeks before Christmas, which is an increase by 130 percent as compared to the rest of the year.