French seen cutting online Christmas budget

PARIS Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:25pm IST

A giant Christmas tree stands in the middle of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris ahead of the holiday season in the French capital, November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

A giant Christmas tree stands in the middle of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris ahead of the holiday season in the French capital, November 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

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PARIS (Reuters) - French shoppers plan to spend less online on average this Christmas, the country's Commerce Federation (Fevad) said on Wednesday, the latest sign of France's struggling economy.

The economy contracted in the third quarter - the third time in four quarters - jobless numbers are at a record high, and taxes have been rising.

Shoppers are expected to spend an average 193 euros online for Christmas presents, down 3 percent from a year ago, Fevad said in a statement.

But because more French will shop online, online Christmas retail sales are expected to reach 10.3 billion euros, a year-on-year rise of 14 percent.

This would lift total online retail sales in France to over 50 billion euros in full-year 2013 from 45 billion in 2012.

A survey by market research group Deloitte released earlier this month showed that while families across Europe prepare to spend more on average this Christmas for the first time since 2008, the French were among those who looked set to spend less as they grow more pessimistic about their purchasing power.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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