66pc plan to reduce holiday spending, poll finds
Two out of three people plan to spend less than last year during the Christmas and New Year holidays, according to a poll.
Forty-two per cent of the 658 respondents said they would slash spending because they were earning less than at the same time last year.
A further 24.3 per cent said they planned to cut spending because they feared losing their job or earning less.
Only 2.9 per cent of respondents said their income had increased this year and they planned to spend more over the holidays, while 31 per cent said they would spend about the same as they had last year.
The poll also found 51.5 per cent of respondents said they had decided to stay in Hong Kong over the holidays.
Only 9.3 per cent said they would travel to the mainland, while 5.8 per cent said they would go overseas.
Thirty-three per cent said they had yet to make plans or had no plans.
Seventy-four per cent said their desire to shop and spend was affected by the downturn, while 25.2 per cent said they were not affected by the economic situation.
The telephone survey was carried out by the Democratic Party between Monday and Thursday last week.
Party legislator Fred Li Wah-ming said that the findings showed that people were pessimistic over the SAR's economic prospects and had no hope of receiving a pay rise or bonus.
People were still reluctant to spend more and were opting to keep their money in the bank, despite the low interest rates on their savings accounts, Mr Li said.
Warning that a drop in spending could stifle economic recovery, Mr Li urged the Government to create jobs, exempt the public from property rates for a year and cut fees and charges related to people's livelihoods.