According to Deloitte, more than half of the respondents to its recent consumer survey said they intend to spend at least as much this years as they did in 2007.
".. believes that Canadian retail sales this year will be higher than last year," stated Deloitte's Brent Houlden.
"But Canadian retailers will have to work hard to earn that holiday spend, as consumers will be scanning for value and hunting for bargains."
Deloitte said 40 per cent of respondents said they will spend less this year, compared to the 25 per cent who said they planned to spend less in 2007 than they did in 2006.
In a statement countering Deloitte's positive predictions, the Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC) said Canadians are unlikely to spend more this year because they are constantly bombarded with "doom and gloom" news about a possible global recession.
"I think we're in very difficult times and that's what we're hearing from consumers is that they're cutting back, looking for bargains and delaying making purchases of items of a larger nature," said the CAC's Bruce Cran. "It's as bad as I've ever seen it at any time in my lifetime."
Deloitte reported that 83 per cent of respondents said they planning to buy more items on sale this year. The drooping loonie will keep more Canadians at home, with only about 41 per cent of those surveyed planning to shop in the U.S., compared to 64 per cent a year ago.
"Compared to last year, when the Canadian dollar was at or above par leading up to the holiday season, we expect to see a significantly lower number of Canadians spending their holiday budget south of the border this year, which will help out our Canadian retailers," said Houlden.
So there we have it.... Its official The Malls are playing Christmas Carols and the shoppers at the Vaughn Mills Mall were out in full force today.