(Photo: Dusko Jamaraz/PIXSELL) (Photo: Dusko Jamaraz/PIXSELL)

The latest estimates regarding the record spending refer to the period from December 1st to January 1st. Retail is the main driver of the holiday spending and is estimated to generate some 14 billion kuna, said the Chamber's Tomislava Ravlić.

The 15.3 billion kuna spending estimate is based on the government's tax reforms, wage growth, another successful tourist season, higher consumer optimism and record-high employment, said Ravlić.

For the past ten years, December has seen the year's highest spending, added Ravlić. In comparison, up to 14 billion kuna is spent during July and August in record tourist seasons.

Retail has been stable for the past five years and turnover has been growing since August 2014, with the exception of four months of decline and one of being stable, Ravlić said, adding that in the first nine months of 2019 trade was 3.7 percent higher than at the same time in 2018.

She also underscored changes in consumer habits. Previously, the majority of citizens worried about the cost of living; now one third of the population prioritises health, while the cost of living and the work-life balance were both around 20 percent.

"This tells us that the economy has stabilised and that consumer optimism has increased and that, despite problems, our citizens live better and the standard is better," Ravlić concluded.

Source: HRT