The world is experiencing magnificent economic changes as the holiday season draws near, with a variety of industries collaborating to create a joyous mood and boost the economy. Christmas is celebrated all over the world and has come to represent not just religious and cultural significance but also a spike in various industries' economic activity.
Leading this event is the United States, which has emerged as the global leader in the purchase of holiday decorations and spends billions of dollars a year to decorate the country for the holidays. China is the dominant player in this holiday business, controlling the global market and supply chain for artificial trees and Christmas decorations. Nearly $10 billion worth of Christmas decorations were exported from China to destinations around the world in 2022. Even though China leads the way, other countries play an important role in the worldwide export market.
The Netherlands has become a major player, exporting a substantial $251.24 million. India is a major contributor to the global Christmas market, with decorations worth $127.77 million sent in 2022. Germany follows closely, exporting $88.64 million worth of Christmas decorations. Even the US contributes to the global exchange of the season by exporting $58.05 million worth of Christmas decorations in 2022, despite being a net importer most of the time.
On the other hand, few countries emerged as the top importers of Christmas decorations worldwide in 2022. Importing an astounding 342 thousand metric tonnes of Christmas decorations, the United States took the lead. Followed by the Netherlands (34.6 thousand metric tonnes), Italy (20.2 thousand metric tonnes), Germany (20.1 thousand metric tonnes), and the United Kingdom (34.8 thousand metric tonnes) in terms of imports.
Christmas is usually associated with warm family get-togethers and homecomings, but there's an increasing trend indicating that some people want to spend the holidays somewhere different. Millions of Americans drive or fly during the holidays every year, demonstrating the growing popularity of travel during this time. Since the COVID-19 epidemic had an impact, the statistics changed.
The travel data for the years 2019 through 2023 suggest that around 119 million people traveled in the US throughout the Christmas and New Year's travel season in 2019. As a result of the pandemic, travel numbers fell to 84.5 million in 2020; nevertheless, they increased to 112 million in 2022 and 109 million in 2021. An estimated 115 million Americans are expected to travel for the year-end holiday period in 2023.
Giving gifts is an integral part of Christmas, and this generous spirit affects consumer spending as well. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), sales of holiday merchandise will rise by 3% to 4% in 2023, setting a record for holiday spending in November and December. In fact, with a 6% gain in 2022, online retail sales throughout the Christmas season have been rising. Projections indicate that 2023 will see even more growth, with an astounding 11.3% predicted.
With the spike in online purchases, the projections also suggest that total holiday sales, including non-store and e-commerce sales, will reach a total of $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion. Moreover, there is also an increase in labor demand around the holidays; however, this has changed over time. Seasonal job listings have surpassed the levels seen in 2022, although they are somewhat lower than during the 2018 - 2021 period. The availability of candidates has improved as companies increase hiring in anticipation of the holiday season. Christmas job searches are up about 31% from the prior year.
Interestingly, in the UK, businesses also spend a lot of money on Christmas-themed advertising as the season approaches. In 2023, record spending is predicted to reach £9.5 billion, up 4.8% from the year before. This spending surge is a result of inflation, indicating the value of Christmas-themed advertising from an economic standpoint. In 2023, the advertising sector's entire market value is expected to increase by £430 million in the fourth quarter.
Additionally, businesses see Christmas charity events as a special chance to interact with their consumers and communities. In addition to connecting corporations with charitable causes, partnerships with charities also increase consumer involvement, as 58% of consumers say they are more likely to make purchases from socially conscious companies. In fact, 69% of UK workers say their employers provide funding for Christmas celebrations, and over 50% of them support allocating a portion of these funds to charity of their choice.
Christmas is a global economic engine that makes people happy and more connected to one another. The festive mood and robust activity in a variety of businesses are combined to create the ever-changing economic impact of Christmas.