Executive Briefings

Government Shutdown Didn't Help Already Glum Predictions for Holiday Season Spending

Retail sales were lagging long before the government shutdown, but the hit that the economy took from the closure didn't help things at all. Now, the National Retail Federation, the industry's top trade group, said that shoppers this year planned to reduce spending on presents and holiday preparations.

Government Shutdown Didn't Help Already Glum Predictions for Holiday Season Spending

More than half of consumers surveyed blame the economy for denting their holiday budgets. And nearly 3 in 10 fault the political bickering on Capitol Hill for cutting into their merrymaking plans.

The average consumer will spend $737.95 on gifts, decor and greeting cards, 2 percent less than the $752.24 shelled out last year. Of more than 6,000 survey respondents, nearly 80 percent said they intended to spend less overall during the season.

The value of gifts for family members is projected to slide 2 percent from last year. Earlier this month, the federation had projected that holiday sales would hit $602.1bn.

Also, the Standard & Poor's credit rating agency sketched a bleak picture in a report. "If people are afraid that the government policy brinkmanship will resurface again, and with it the risk of another shutdown or worse, they'll remain afraid to open up their checkbooks," Standard & Poor's researchers wrote. "That points to another humbug holiday season."

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More than half of consumers surveyed blame the economy for denting their holiday budgets. And nearly 3 in 10 fault the political bickering on Capitol Hill for cutting into their merrymaking plans.

The average consumer will spend $737.95 on gifts, decor and greeting cards, 2 percent less than the $752.24 shelled out last year. Of more than 6,000 survey respondents, nearly 80 percent said they intended to spend less overall during the season.

The value of gifts for family members is projected to slide 2 percent from last year. Earlier this month, the federation had projected that holiday sales would hit $602.1bn.

Also, the Standard & Poor's credit rating agency sketched a bleak picture in a report. "If people are afraid that the government policy brinkmanship will resurface again, and with it the risk of another shutdown or worse, they'll remain afraid to open up their checkbooks," Standard & Poor's researchers wrote. "That points to another humbug holiday season."

Read Full Article

Government Shutdown Didn't Help Already Glum Predictions for Holiday Season Spending