Consumers Plan to Spend About the Same as Last Year on Holiday Gifts

Staff Report

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

U.S. households plan to spend an average of $560 on gifts this holiday season, about the same as last year, The Conference Board reports. More consumers will be seeking bargains, and an increasing number will be shopping primarily online. Nearly 37 percent expect one-half of their purchases to be on sale or discounted.

The survey of holiday gift spending intentions, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The survey was conducted for The Conference Board in October as part of the Consumer Confidence Survey

Approximately 11 percent of consumers plan to spend more this year on holiday gifts, compared with 9 percent last year. Sixty-five percent plan to spend about the same as last year. The remaining 24 percent say they plan to spend less than last year.

"With consumer confidence close to a 17-year high, consumers are entering the holiday season in very good spirits," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "However, good cheer alone is not enough to convince consumers to make a purchase. The overwhelming majority of consumers say they will be looking for bargains and incentives, with a growing number doing so online."

The number of consumers shopping online continues to increase. Close to 37 percent plan to purchase at least half their gifts online this year, up from 34 percent last year and slightly over a quarter in 2015.