Executive Briefings

Despite Pessimism About Economy, Slim Majority Don't Plan to Cut Back on Holiday Spending

While two-thirds of consumers expect the economy to stay the same or weaken next year, nearly three out of five will put aside financial worries and spend the same or more this holiday season, according to Deloitte's 26th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends. This is a slight decline from 2010 but an eight-percentage-point increase from 2009.

Shoppers planning to spend less this year (42 percent) point to higher costs impacting their household budgets. Six out of 10 cite higher food prices (63 percent) and higher gas prices (60 percent) as reasons for spending less this year. Roughly half (49 percent) point to higher energy costs.

The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between Sept. 16 and Sept. 26, and polled a sample of 5,019 consumers. Deloitte says the survey has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

"Lackluster employment growth, debt crises and stock market fluctuations have battered consumer confidence while inflation left many with lighter wallets this fall," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader for Deloitte. "Consumers will be conservative this holiday season, but remain resilient and maintain a more positive interest in holiday shopping than we witnessed during the recession."

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While two-thirds of consumers expect the economy to stay the same or weaken next year, nearly three out of five will put aside financial worries and spend the same or more this holiday season, according to Deloitte's 26th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends. This is a slight decline from 2010 but an eight-percentage-point increase from 2009.

Shoppers planning to spend less this year (42 percent) point to higher costs impacting their household budgets. Six out of 10 cite higher food prices (63 percent) and higher gas prices (60 percent) as reasons for spending less this year. Roughly half (49 percent) point to higher energy costs.

The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between Sept. 16 and Sept. 26, and polled a sample of 5,019 consumers. Deloitte says the survey has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

"Lackluster employment growth, debt crises and stock market fluctuations have battered consumer confidence while inflation left many with lighter wallets this fall," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader for Deloitte. "Consumers will be conservative this holiday season, but remain resilient and maintain a more positive interest in holiday shopping than we witnessed during the recession."

Read Full Article