Anxiety over budget battles in Washington, D.C., is prompting middle-class military families to cut their holiday shopping in half, according to a consumer index.
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index survey shows 52 percent of middle-class military families -- those with household incomes of $50,000 or more -- expect to spend less on gifts this year. On average, they will spend $769 compared with $1,439 last year.
Thirty-nine percent say they will spend less than $500.
Military families are worried about another government shutdown (59 percent) and sequestration (63 percent), says the survey, which included responses from 530 middle-class military families.
The respondents say they will cut down on spending by buying fewer gifts, buying from discount stores and setting maximum limits for the cost of gifts.
This is the sixth consecutive year the index has shown a decrease in holiday spending.