Aussies to spend $2.6b on Olympic parties

Local bars and bottle shops are gearing up for a spending bonanza as Australians put aside more than $2 billion to party during the Olympic Games.

A Commonwealth Bank study has found sports fans plan to spend an average of $154 each, or a total of $2.6 billion, across the nation over the next fortnight.

More than two-thirds of Australians are planning to spend $500 million celebrating Aussie medal wins, with most of that money going on drinks at home or at a bar.

"Our research shows that the London 2012 Olympic Games will provide a sizable boost to the Australian economy, with millions of Aussies planning to open their wallets," Commonwealth Bank economist James McIntyre said.

Adults have budgeted spending on average an extra $37 on food and drink at home, $31 celebrating medal wins, $27 on food, snacks and drinks outside the home and almost $26 at a party.

The study of more than 1,000 people showed Aussie men expect to fork out 43 per cent more than women during the Games, while one in ten Australians will allocate $200 more than usual on food at home.

Mr McIntyre said the research showed the Olympics was a good opportunity for some businesses to claim a piece of the Olympic spending pie in the midst of weak retail spending.

While many retailers will be rubbing their hands together, bosses are dreading the predicted fall in productivity at work, with an estimated 1.8 million work hours expected to be lost during the Games.

Curiously, the study also found people with no interest in the Olympics plan to spend an extra $300 million on other activities during the next fortnight.

"It's particularly interesting to see that it's not just Olympic celebrations that will boost the economy, but also the portion of Aussies who plan to avoid the Games by indulging in a little retail therapy or simply taking a trip to the cinema," Mr McIntyre said.

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