Romanian consumer spending sprees can be broken down in a handful of major moments: Orthodox Easter, the 3 summer months and, lastly, the one when the most lavish expenditures take place is during November and December, as holiday spirit takes over.
In order to assess how important the Christmas spending largess is, we looked at unadjusted figures for retail sales for the 2014-2017 period. More specifically, we plotted the December index of sales relative to the average of the previous 11 months of the year, which effectively shows how many more goods are purchased in the final month of the year than in other months.
Looking at these figures for the headline retail sales, Romania is in the second half of the European Union (seven to last to be more precise), though there is still a significant effect, as business in the final month of the year is usually some 17% higher than the monthly average for the year. As a side note, around the Christmas period, domestic media often runs stories about Romanians’ eating excesses and the fact that people don’t want to see anything missing from their family dinner to celebrate Christmas; it might be a cultural thing, as Romanians may have never really gotten over the material shortcomings seen during communist times, particularly the second part of the 1980’s.
Christmas celebrations are one of the recurring highlights each year on an individual level, so it is only natural for companies and office landlords to get in on the act. For instance, some buildings spend from several hundreds of euros to rent a Christmas tree (adding up to half a eurocent for the monthly service charge per square meter) to 4,000 euros for a building located in one of Bucharest’s fast-growing office submarkets (just under one eurocent as per month per square meter), which has quite a big reception area and will have a tree of at least 5-6 meters.