Welcome to the busiest day of the Christmas shopping season

December 23 will be the busiest day of the Christmas shopping rush, with nearly 10 million ATM, EFTPOS, debit and credit card transactions expected to be processed as shoppers make their last-minute Christmas purchases.

According to National Australia Bank research, Australians will make a record 9.5 million transactions throughout the day, one million more than they made on the same date last year.

December 23 has been the day on which shoppers make the most transactions during the Christmas period for the past eight years.

But while today will be the busiest day, the nation’s transaction rate will not hit its peak until lunchtime on Christmas Eve.

NAB General Manager of Consumer Lending Angus Gilfillan said they were expecting the transaction rate tomorrow to also set a record.

“Our analysis shows customers will be shopping at a rate of close to 250 transactions per second, which would be the highest peak rate we’ve ever recorded,” Gilfillan said.

“In five out of the past six years the highest rate of transactions during Christmas has occurred between 12:15pm and 1:00pm – so don’t count on getting all your shopping done during your lunch-time break.”

Christmas spending is expected to exceed $32.6 billion this year. The Christmas spending injection will be a welcome injection into the economy, after this month’s Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator Report indicated that spending contracted by 0.3% in November, the second consecutive monthly fall.