WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers say they will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the holiday season this year, up 4.1% from the $967.13 they said they would spend last year, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“The holidays are just around the corner, and consumers are ready to shop,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. “Confidence is near an all-time high, unemployment is the lowest we’ve seen in decades and take-home wages are up. All of that is reflected in consumers’ buying plans. Retailers expect strong demand this year and are prepared with a wide array of merchandise while offering strong deals and promotions during the busiest and most competitive shopping season of the year, period.”
Tariffs on a wide range of consumer goods from China took effect last month, but Shay noted that retailers imported record volumes of merchandise ahead of the tariffs this summer and said any effect on pricing during the holiday season is expected to be minimal.
A separate NRF survey estimated that holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 4.3% and 4.8% over 2017 for a total between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion. Consumers will spend in three main categories during the holidays—gifts, at $637.67; non-gift holiday items such as food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards, at $215.04; and other non-gift purchases that take advantage of the deals and promotions throughout the season, at $154.53.