Halloween spending set to soar

Almost three in 10 residents of Vienna plan to buy sweets or decorations to celebrate Halloween this year, according to a survey.The city’s Economy Chamber (WKW) found that 29 per cent of people living in Vienna will spend money ahead of the 31 October event which has a long tradition in America. Only 22 per cent said the same last year.WKW President Brigitte Jank said she expected Halloween spending to rise by around 1.8 million Euros year on year to nine million Euros (2008 poll: 6.5 million Euros; 2007 predictions: 5.5 million Euros). This sum is relatively low compared to residents’ overall spending for Valentine’s Day gifts of around 25 million Euros per year.People buying sweets or decorations will spend an average 23 Euros, according to research. Studies have also found that men would spend 26 Euros, while women averagely cough up only 20 Euros for Halloween products.The vast majority of Vienna residents (74 per cent) planning to buy Halloween-themed products said they will purchase sweets, while 28 per cent consider buying pumpkins. Around 35 per cent of those intending to spend money for the event said they will also buy products to decorate their homes.Kittsee-based chocolates producer Hauswirth said recently “specialised products” for celebrations like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, New Year were responsible for 70 to 80 per cent of its overall annual turnover of 10 million Euros.Vienna residents have an annual per capita spending power of 40,600 Euros, slightly more than nearby Slovak capital Bratislava. People living in Prague, Czech Republic, meanwhile have an average 42,800 Euros.Researchers have warned the Austrian capital may fall behind further in this regard compared to other cities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).Vienna is, however, still among the world’s top 25 cities in spending power, according to a global study by UBS. The Swiss bank said the city had retained 24th place, while the Swiss city of Zurich topped the ranking.The survey also showed that Vienna’s overall price level declined from eighth to 15th due to the dwindling value of the Euro. Norwegian capital Oslo was found to be the most expensive city in the world.