Americans Plan to Spend More This Holiday - Quicken Loans Zing BlogThe holiday shopping season has started earlier and earlier over the last couple of years and, as it turns out, Americans may not like it.

That’s just one of the insights from a report done by market research firm Lab42 on holiday shopping trends. The study was conducted in early November with 500 American holiday shoppers over the age of 18. Among the other insights, this is what they found:

  • 47% plan to spend more than they did last year, and only 12% expect to spend less.
  • As for choosing a shopping venue, 91% of surveyed shoppers expected to shop online, and 53% of those say they will shop online more than they did last year.
  • In terms of the motivation behind their shopping choices, 40% said free shipping was the biggest incentive. 26% said the sales offered at the store matter most, and 18% rely on how comfortable they are with the retailer.
  • 59% of those surveyed set a budget for holiday shopping.

Holiday spending is also an indicator of the health of the economy; if people are spending more, they must have more disposable income.

A Gallup poll taken at the beginning of the 2008 recession put the average planned holiday spending at $616. This year, Americans plan to spend $720. This estimate increases to $790 when those who plan to spend nothing are excluded. This is down from a recent peak in 2012 of $770, but up 2.27% from last year. After comparing estimates from previous years to actual retail sales data for those years, Gallup expects a sales increase of around 3% for this holiday season.

In estimates taken November 19-20, 25% of those surveyed expect to spend $1,000 or more on Christmas gifts. This was followed by 21% who expect to spend $500-$999.

Interestingly, Americans’ spending estimates in the Gallup poll decreased $61 from October estimates. This phenomenon, which the polling organization refers to as “cold feet” syndrome, has occurred each of the last three years and several times in the last decade.

The severity of this effect often has a lot to do with economic outlook, Gallup says. The steepest drops happened in 2008 and 2009, when fears over the recession led to triple-digit decreases in spending estimates between October and November. An exception to this would be 2011, when Americans’ spending estimates actually increased between October and November.

How much are you spending on your holiday shopping this year? Are you spending more or cutting back? Let us know in the comments section.

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