U.S. consumer spending this holiday season is expected to soar despite growing concerns over inflation and supply chain backlogs that may delay shipping, according to a CNBC survey.
Americans, on average, expect to spend $1,004 on gifts this holiday season, up 13% from the previous year and the highest figure since 2018, according to CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey. Roughly 15% of the 800 individuals surveyed think they will spend more this season, an 11% jump from 2020, meanwhile 35% plan to spend less.
“I think it will be a good Christmas,” Jay Campbell, a partner at Hart Research Associates, the Democratic pollster for the survey, told CNBC. “People will be spending and consumers are willing, eager and mostly able to get out of their houses and back into stores to spend those dollars.”
Of those spending less this holiday season, 25% said they blamed a poor economy and 21% said attributed their decision to higher prices and trouble paying bills, according to the report. 17% of those spending less cited a desire to save money while 36% said they began shopping earlier than usual this year, being afraid that gifts wouldn’t arrive in time.
For those consumers planning to spend more, one-third attribute said it’s because they have more money, while 16% cited higher prices.
“I’d say the holiday spending numbers in this poll are relatively solid,” said Micah Roberts, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, the Republican pollster for the survey. “But it doesn’t get rid of the cost of living stressors that Americans are under.”
Respondents said inflation surpassed COVID-19, becoming the biggest issue of concern in the U.S., and 41% of respondents said think the economy will worsen in 2022.
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