Americans will not only be trimming trees, but trimming their holiday spending, a new report says.
U.S. consumers estimate they’ll spend $704 on Christmas gifts this season, down from the $786 average they predicted they would spend in October, according to the most recent holiday Gallup poll.
The most recent estimate also is below the $770 Americans estimated they would spend last year at this time, a worrisome note for retailers who depend heavily on holiday sales to keep the doors open year-round.
“Americans are now feeling more restrained about holiday shopping then they did a month ago,” the report said.
A flood of events, including budgetary chaos in Washington D.C., computer glitches related to the Affordable Care Act, and a relatively weak jobs report in September followed by improvements in the October report may be factors that are causing Americans to waffle and predict a drop in their holiday spending budget.
On the other hand, “Consumers’ estimates of their Christmas spending often increase between November and December. Consequently, retailers can hope that if this pattern continues, it will be by enough to push spending closer to the 4 percent increase suggested by Gallup’s October holiday spending figure,” the report said.
The results of the poll, which was conducted Nov. 7 through 10, were based on random telephone interviews of 1,039 adults age 18 and older in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.