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1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Dec 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2008   
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Jingle Bell Imports
Christmas comes but once a year…

…and when it comes it brings good cheer’. Global recession notwithstanding, Western Australians look set to have another abundant Christmas Season.

Comparisons between overseas imports to Western Australia in October 2007 and October 2008 show an increase in the value of chocolate imported from $105,426 to $182,937. For the same two months, imports of sparkling wines from France increased from 17,453 litres to 36,459 litres contributing significantly to the value of imports which grew from $161,242 to $434,850. The value of tricycles and scooters landing on our shores, and suitable for children’s gifts, increased from $180,675 to $462,090. There was also a pleasing Christmassy increase in the number of imported stuffed toys from 68,738 ($240,307) in October 2007 to 98,225 ($329,021) in October 2008.

Although the number of electric train sets is down, which could cause consternation in some circles, only a small decrease from 30,337 sets to 28,238 sets has been reported and may be boosted in November and December import figures. The sounds of Christmas may be a little softer with the reported number of imported toy musical instruments down from 14,133 to 12,374. Fortunately a massive 212,315 latex balloons imported in October will be on hand to see the festive season out with a bang.

Illegal transactions, such as smuggled goods (including Santa and his Elves), are omitted as there is no practical way to collect this information and while ABS statistics don’t record reindeers, the ABS can report that there were 8,293 deer in WA as at June 30, 2007. In seasonally adjusted terms Western Australians spent around $2 billion in December 2007 up from $1.89 billion in December 2006.

Off To See The Rellies
More Australian residents travel overseas on Christmas Day to “visit family and friends” (8,605 people last year) including 701 Sandgropers, than those who travel to Australia for the same reason. Short term visitors arriving in Australia on Christmas Day last year numbered 5,162 with 817 celebrating their arrival for Christmas in WA. On Christmas Day last year 1,917 Western Australians left for overseas holidays as part of the lucky 12,494 Australian residents who also departed for foreign shores.

A Busy Night
It looks like Santa is going to be busy in the West on Christmas Eve when he visits approximately 206,000 Western Australian families who have children under the magical age of 15 years. Estimates are not available for the numbers of children categorised as ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’, but at this time of the year we suspect the numbers would be biased toward the ‘nice’ side.

Christmas Places
ABS demographic records also reveal that some Christmas themes, intentional or otherwise, feature in a dozen Australian town and location names. There are Christmas Island, Christmas Creek and Christmas Hills (Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria); Christmas Town, Bells Beach and Shepherds Creek (Vic); Turkey Creek (NT); Wisemans Creek, Wisemans Ferry and Snowball (NSW); and Snowtown (SA). Turkey Hill is the only town identified in WA but that won’t affect Christmas Celebrations in the wild, wild west.

Article by:
Marg Garner,
Information Skills Program
and Christmas Devotee.


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