While the sluggish economy and rising household expenses are casting a chill over consumer confidence, it’s not yet enough to bring back the ghost of recessions past, according to Deloitte's 26th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends.
While two-thirds (67%) of 5,019 consumers polled by an independent research firm for Deloitte expect the economy to stay the same or weaken next year, nearly three out of five (59%) plan to put aside economic worries and spend the same or more this holiday season.
This is a slight decline from 2010 but an eight percentage point increase from 2009, noted Alison Paul, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. retail & distribution leader.
Yet it is worthy to note that a significant number of U.S. consumers in this poll said they plan to spend less this year (42%) as a result of higher costs impacting their household budgets. Six out of 10 cite higher food prices (63%) and higher gas prices (60%) as reasons for spending less this year, with roughly half (49%) pointing more broadly to higher energy costs as the reason for spending reductions.
“Lackluster employment growth, debt crises and stock market fluctuations have battered consumer confidence while inflation left many with lighter wallets this fall,” Paul pointed out. “Consumers will be conservative this holiday season, but remain resilient and maintain a more positive interest in holiday shopping than we witnessed during the recession.”