Despite U.S. consumers having higher overall confidence levels in the economy and personal finances now than they did a year ago (see our ongoing Economic Sentiment Index), 77% of consumers say they will be spending the same or less this coming holiday shopping season. Only 13% say they plan to spend more.
This is not great news for retailers.
Who will be spending what?
- Men are slightly more likely to say they won’t spend any money on gifts.
- Younger consumers (aged 13-34) are more likely to say they will be spending more. Two possible factors here: Younger consumers typically see their incomes climb post college graduation, and we also find in our Economic Sentiment Index that younger consumers overall have been showing higher levels of economic confidence than older consumers.
- Indeed, those who have lesser levels of concern about the economy and jobs correlate with higher likelihoods of spending more this coming 2014 holiday season. Those who say they are “not concerned at all” about the economy and jobs are 80% more likely to say they’ll spend more this year.
- Non-parents are 31% more likely to say they’ll be spending more than parents and grandparents. (This is also somewhat of a proxy for age.)
- Parents, meanwhile, are 14% more likely to say they will cut back this year, compared to grandparents and non-parents.
- Those who classify themselves as “spendthrifts” — having difficulty controlling their spending — are 50% more likely than other spending types (such as tightwads) to say they’ll spend more this season than last season.
With less than 14 weeks until Christmas, retailers still have time to adjust and adapt to this vital information about consumer intent.