29% of holiday shoppers say they plan to cut back on holiday spending due to stalled budget negotiations in Washington, according to a new survey.
Shoppers between the ages of 55 and 64 are the most likely to squeeze their budgets as a result of the political gridlock, the National Retail Federation survey found.
Overall, 50% of consumers said the economy would impact their spending, with 80% saying it would affect their budgets negatively.
“Though the foundation for solid holiday season growth exists, Americans are questioning the stability of our economy, our government and their own finances,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “We expect consumers to set a modest budget for gifts and other holiday related purchases as they wait and see what will become of the U.S. economy in the coming months."
The survey comes one week after Shay wrote a letter to Congress pleading for lawmakers to immediately end the government shutdown or risk imperiling the $600 billion holiday shopping season.
Walmart executives have also voiced concern about the impact of the shutdown on holiday spending.
NRF predicts that holiday sales will increase 3.9% to $602.1 billion from last year. But the survey released Wednesday, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, found that consumers will spend roughly 2% less on gifts this year than the $752.24 they spent last year.
The survey also found that more than half of consumers (52%) plan to shop online. Those online shoppers will buy about 40% of their gifts on the Internet, the report said. More than half of consumers plan to use their mobile devices to assist in holiday shopping, from making purchases to looking up store hours.
Other findings include:Consumers will purchase gifts primarily at discounters (64.7%), department stores (56.3%), and grocery stores (51.1%). Four in 10 Americans will begin shopping before Halloween. Consumers will cut back on “self-gifting,” or buying themselves items to take advantage of the holiday sales. Self-gifters will spend an average $129.62 this year, down from $140.43 last year. Most consumers (59%) want to receive gifts cards. 51% want clothing and accessories, 36% want electronics and 23% want jewelry.
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