Consumers Plan To Purchase Fewer, Cheaper Presents

Prepare for disappointment this holiday season because a survey from Deloitte & Touche says the average consumer is planning to spend less on fewer presents. The average New England holiday shopping budget is down 19% to $517, and the average shopper is prepared to buy only 24 gifts – which to us, still seems like a lot.

Nationally, gift-giving budgets are down 2.5 percent, to $569, according to the survey of 14,135 consumers conducted between Sept. 24 and Oct. 4. Deloitte said New Englanders spent a lot more in 2006 compared with consumers nationally, making this year’s pullback bigger.

Consumers everywhere are feeling the pinch with a slumping housing sector and a volatile stock market. And the soaring price of crude oil could give New Englanders their highest winter heating bills ever.

Holiday sales account for 25%-40% of the average retailer’s annual revenue. A weak holiday sales season certainly won’t help keep us out of recession. Are you planning to buy more or less this year? Tell us in the comments.

Making a holiday list, trimming it twice [Boston Globe]
(Photo: Chris&AmyCate)