Inside This Issue - News
As holidays near, caution is watchword
November 4th, 2013
WASHINGTON – Wary consumers are trimming their holiday gift giving budgets — even for themselves — according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.
Faced with continued economic uncertainty and used to doing more with less, consumers will take a conservative approach to spending in November and December, the survey found. On average, holiday shoppers will spend $737.95 on gifts, décor, greeting cards and more, 2% less than the $752.24 they spent last year, according to the survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. NRF is forecasting total holiday sales will advance 3.9% to $602.1 billion.
"Though the foundation for solid holiday season growth exists, Americans are questioning the stability of our economy, our government and their own finances," said NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay. "We expect consumers to set a modest budget for gifts and other holiday-related purchases as they wait and see what will become of the U.S. economy in the coming months."
"Retailers have urged Congress and the administration to seek a long-term solution for funding the government and extending the debt ceiling instead of kicking the can down the road once again," Shay added. "A Band-Aid approach is not the answer. Americans deserve to feel good about spending their hard-earned money on gifts for others, and this holiday season it’s evident some could second-guess their spending."
For the first time, NRF asked holiday shoppers if the gridlock in Washington would affect their spending plans. Almost three in 10 (29%) said the situation would somewhat or very likely affect their purchases. Nearly one-third (32.7%) of those between 55 and 64 said political gridlock in Washington was somewhat or very likely to affect their spending, the highest percent among all age groups surveyed.