Credit card spending up in the final week before Christmas

Retail sales have shot up this week as Aussies target last-minute bargain buys, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A range of retailers have informed the news provider that discounting has reached an all-time high as shops compete for custom.

Meanwhile, Margy Osmond, the chief executive officer of the National Retailers Association, said that her research showed that 65 per cent of shoppers had left their gift buying to this week.

"We are seeing an increase in spend. And this week is the super spend week because most people have left their Christmas shopping to the last minute in a fairly unprecedented way," she told the newspaper.

She added that customers were spending now before they felt the effect of interest rate rises next year.

The boom in Christmas shopping this week may encourage bank customers to compare credit cards in search of the best deals. This week the business analyst IBISWorld predicted that there will be a greater shift towards discount outlets this Christmas as customers ensure they do not spend beyond their means.

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