A large portion of Americans plan to spend less, or the same, this holiday season compared to last year, according to a survey by Edward Jones.
Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed say they will spend less, while 39 percent say they will spend the same, and only 18 percent say they will spend more. The survey results vary slightly from the predictions of the Edward Jones consumer analyst who predicts a 2.8 percent increase in spending.
“While we expect some sales growth in the retail market this holiday season, those polled expressed a conservative view on holiday spending,” says Brian Yarbrough, consumer discretionary analyst for Edward Jones. “This differs from our retail forecast for the remainder of the year. We anticipate solid numbers from most retailers with luxury players leading the charge.”
The survey, conducted during the government shutdown, provides a perspective into how the political landscape and other short-term events may impact consumer spending behaviors, Edward Jones says.
“Americans have been inundated by negative headlines regarding changes in economic policy, the impact of rising interest rates and disparate political views coming out of Washington," says Yarbrough. "It's clear that these issues have heightened uncertainty and caused individuals to second-guess their saving and spending behaviors.”
Of the 79 percent of Americans planning to buy holiday gifts this year, 24 percent have already started. Twenty-six percent plan to take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, while 32 percent say they will wait until December.