The looming “fiscal cliff,” in which a failure of Congress to act will trigger automatic tax increases, is spooking consumers.
But at the same time, the CEA’s research says consumer spending will be up this holiday. In total, 57 percent of all U.S. adults will purchase a gift this Thanksgiving weekend, compared with 47 percent in 2011, and they will spend, on average, $218 from Thursday through Monday, up from $159 last year. Consumers plan to spend $842 on all gifts this year, according to the CEA.
“While it’s looking like this weekend has the potential to be the biggest shopping weekend ever, a dark cloud of uncertainty lingers over the holiday season as consumers digest the implications of the fiscal cliff,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s Chief Economist and Senior Director of Research.
Overall, the survey found that 60 percent of U.S. adults plan to shop Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, through Cyber Monday, with Black Friday expected to be the busiest shopping day of the weekend.
A total of 37 percent of U.S. adults plan to shop this Friday, with a third going to a retail store and 20 percent shopping online. Saturday and Cyber Monday will also be popular, with more than a third (34 percent) of adults planning to shop on Saturday and a quarter planning to shop Monday (either online or in-store).