Italians are spending less on traditional Christmas food, according to a national survey carried out by Lista Consumatori a consumer group linked to the left-wing Unione political coalition. Compared to 2004, consumers have spent 15 per cent less to date on pandori, 15 per cent less on panettoni, (traditional Christmas cakes), 10 per cent less on bubbly and 20 per cent less on torrone.

Acccording to another survey, carried out by Confesercenti, the association of commercial enterprises, Italians are spending less in jewellery shops (five per cent down compared to 2004) and in music shops (less ten per cent).

However, the survey also reveals that the sale of beauty and anti-wrinkle creams is up two-three per cent compared to last year. Computer and hi-fi shops are also doing well the Playstation portal is one of the most popular gift items this year. Boardgames are also enjoying a boom.

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