As Black Friday kicks into high gear with millions of shoppers in stores searching for holiday deals, U.S. stocks are at all time record levels searching for direction in a shortened end of the month trading session.
The National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday sales in November and December to increase slightly by 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, over 2012’s actual 3.5 percent holiday season sales growth.
But according to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 this season, two percent less than the $752.24 they spent last year.
The survey polled 6,415 consumers and was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics from October 1-8, 2013 when the U.S fiscal debates were in full gear.
The holiday shopping season accounts for approximately 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales, and roughly 20 percent of total industry annual sales.
According to surveyed consumers, economic uncertainty will result in consumers taking a cautious approach to spending this holiday season.
When surveyed by about the overall state of the economy and how it impacts their spending plans, more than half (51.0 percent) of consumers said the economy would in some way impact how they spend this holiday season.
Nearly one-third (32.7 percent) of those surveyed between the ages of 55 and 64 admitted that political gridlock in Washington was somewhat or very likely to affect their spending, the highest percent among all age groups surveyed.
“Overall, retailers are optimistic for the 2013 holiday season, hoping political debates over government spending and the debt ceiling do not erase any economic progress we’ve already made” said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay.