The high cost of living will see families in Kenya spend 17 per cent less this Christmas compared to last year, a new survey shows.
The latest WorldRemit Cost of Christmas Study shows the average spending on Christmas is, however, expected to be 1.65 times the country’s average monthly income, highlighting the costs associated with celebrations.
The cost of living has been rising month on month in the country and globally, with some nations like the US and UK reporting highest inflations in 40 years.
In Kenya, the cost of living heat a peak in seven years rising to 9.6 per cent in October up from 9.2 per cent in September.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) attributed the high cost of living to a sharp increase in the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Now in its second year and covering 23 countries globally, the WorldRemit Cost of Christmas Study monitors how changing macroeconomic environments affect the cost of standard Christmas elements, including the main holiday meal, average gift spending and decor.
The 2022 study shows that families around the world can expect to spend up to 156 per cent of their monthly income on Christmas.
Households in Lebanon will pay the highest amount compared to their average monthly income (688 per cent) while families in the Netherlands will be least financially impacted, with costs only accounting for 19 per cent of the average household’s monthly income.
With unique traditions, gift giving ideas, and seasonal meals in every region, the global landscape sees a wide diversity of costs associated with the holiday season.
In addition to the 14 countries covered in the 2021 study, the new study added nine new countries this year to further observe the ways different cultures celebrate, and budget for, the global holiday.
The study compares the average cost of food, gifts, and decor to average household incomes to determine the season’s financial impact on families around the world.
Of the 14 countries examined for the second season, five are considered developed economies: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France and Australia.
The 2022 findings reveal the average seasonal increase across these five countries was 33 per cent, with the UK seeing the greatest change, as prices rose more than 60 per cent year over year for the Brits.
This anticipated high cost is brought on by the drastic and sudden increase in inflation, which has forecasters predicting more extreme costs this season.
Of these nations, France is the only country expected to save this year, with an 11 per cent cost reduction across items observed.
While costs across the three categories decreased less than $50 each, the slight consistent change drove down costs overall, giving the French another reason to celebrate.
The remaining nine countries indexed (Cameroon, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Philippines, and Mexico), the average cost of Christmas increased by nine per cent and the cost changes varied widely.
While India (two per cent), Kenya (17 per cent), and the Philippines (38 per cent) saw a reduction in costs this year, Cameroon and Uganda reported an increment of 56 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.
Of these nine countries, India was the only nation that can expect to spend less than an average’s month of income, with holiday costs accounting for 99 per cent of the average Indian family’s monthly income.
Across the 14 countries observed in both 2021 and 2022 studies, the increase in the cost of Christmas was, in part, attributed to a rise in the amount of money allocated towards food over the holidays.
This consistent increase in the price of food, which saw the highest increase (50 per cent) year over year, compared to 13 per cent and 21 per cent increases across the other categories, means families globally will likely need to shift their budget planning to accommodate for the increased costs of holiday meals.
These findings reflect similar conclusions drawn in WorldRemit’s recent Cost of School and Cost of Living studies.
The Christmas items were selected based on desk research of typical Christmas meals, gifts and decorations.
The prices were researched online in late October and early this month.