NRF Projects Trimmer Holiday Spending Budgets by Consumers

Shopping MallWASHINGTON-The National Retail Federation said it expects U.S. consumers to “take a conservative approach” to their spending for the upcoming holiday season, due to a continually challenging economy and being “used to do more with less.”

According to NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, holiday shoppers will spend an average of $737.95 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and other products, 2 percent less than the average for the 2012 holiday season. Overall, NRF has forecast a 3.9 percent increase in holiday sales, to $602.1 billion. The trade group defines the holiday season as the months of November and December.

In making these projections, NRF took the opportunity to urge once again that Washington lawmakers work to end the government shutdown and reach an agreement on the debt ceiling. Regarding current efforts in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to reach temporary agreements on both situations, Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO, said, “A band-aid approach is not the answer. Americans deserve to feel good about spending their hard-earned money on gifts for others, and this holiday season, it’s evident some could second-guess their spending.”

As part of the holiday spending survey, NRF queried shoppers if the political gridlock would affect their spending plans. Twenty-nine percent of the respondents said it would somewhat or very likely have an impact. More than half (51 percent) of the participants said the economy would in some way affect their spending plans, and 79.5 percent said they would spend less overall, and look to cut corners and tighten budgets where they can.