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Holiday spending won’t be slowed by shutdown

October 28, 2013

Despite worries that the recent government shutdown would stoke economic concerns and slow spending, a recent report suggests that Americans plan to spend no less than usual this holiday season.

 

Despite worries that the recent government shutdown would stoke economic concerns and slow spending, a recent report suggests that Americans expect to spend no less than usual this holiday season.

American consumers plan to spend a rough average of $785 on Christmas gifts this year, a figure similar to their estimates from 2012 and 2011, according to a recent report from Gallup. The news outlet notes that this portends respectable seasonal growth, which had been unexpected at this point a few weeks ago.

Almost 90 percent of all U.S. adults will spend money on Christmas gifts this year, according to Gallup, illustrating the need for retail outlets to optimize their seasonal offerings and payment processing terminals as soon as possible. Three out of every ten Americans plan to spend more than $1,000 this season, and only 3 percent of respondents reported that they planned to spend less than $100.

This is particularly welcome news for retail business owners, as projections made during the government shutdown suggested that sales would take a slide this holiday season. ShopperTrak recently reported that foot traffic in retail outlets decreased by 7.5 percent during the first week of the shutdown, when compared with figures from the same week in 2012. Further supporting the notion that the slowdown was caused by the shutdown are the figures recorded in Washington, D.C.: retail outlets in that area saw a foot traffic decline of more than 11 percent. 

“The furlough of hundreds of thousands of federal workers caused an inevitable decline in consumer visits to retail stores in the first half of October,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. 

As a result, Gallup’s result comes as a relief to business owners. Their report estimates that 2013 holiday spending, on the whole, is expected to grow by roughly four percent over last year’s levels. 

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