As Christmas fast approaches, Australians will lift their interest in shopping – most notably in Victoria where shoppers will spend $171 million more this week than last, according to the latest projections from the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) and GE Capital Christmas Retail Index.

ANRA CEO Margy Osmond said Victorians had lost some of their love affair with shopping, recent retail figures for October showed the third decline in four months in the state.

“Australians will spend $6.5 billion this week on Christmas gifts – $934 million on domestic online and almost $5.6bn in-store, to fill the contents of many a Christmas stocking,” she said.

Retailers remain cautiously optimistic about Christmas trade, despite the flat retail figures in October announced last week.

“October’s cash rate cut didn’t give the retail sector the lift we might have hoped for but the cash rate cut was not immediately passed on by the banks and consumers no longer respond immediately to a cut,” Osmond said.

“We are hoping as Aussies realise there is extra cash in their wallets they will splurge a little on the Christmas season or at the very least in the post Christmas sales.

Individually, it’s anticipated Australian shoppers will spend about $285 this week on gifts. The big spenders will be in the ACT this week – parting with almost $500 each as they aim to get the shopping all done well before Santa makes his appearance

Osmond also said retailers would be disappointed they were going through another Christmas period with continued inaction on the low value parcel threshold, but they were confident consumers’ in-store experiences would make it a merry Christmas for all.

“Customers love the Christmas vibe in the shops and retailers have made sure there are a number of great offerings for all members of the family in-store,” she said.