The holiday shopping season is set to begin earlier than ever this year. It seems consumers will barely set down their forks from Thanksgiving dinner and the stores will be opening their doors. Many retailers won't wait until Friday morning since they can lure anxious shoppers in on Thursday night.
And this year, more consumers across New York State are willing to spend, according to an annual survey by Siena Research Institute (SRI.)
Last year, only four percent planned to expand their holiday shopping budgets, but this year, seven percent say they will spend more. Last year, 37 percent planned to cut spending. This year, only 34 percent plan to do so. "By no means are New Yorkers planning a holiday spending frenzy, but every indicator is trending upwards," according to Dr. Don Levy, SRI's Director.
So how much do New York consumers plan to spend? Twenty-six percent say they'll spend $1,000 or more on the holidays. This is the first time since 2007 that more than a quarter of consumers are budgeting that high. Twelve percent say they'll keep spending between $600 and $1,000, while 36 percent will spend $300 to $600. Twenty-seven percent say they'll keep spending under $300.
"The economy continues to affect holiday spending plans. Nearly four in ten say the current state of the economy is dampening their shopping spirits but that is down slightly from last year. In fact, today nearly a quarter of state residents say they are better off financially today than they were last holiday season, the highest we've seen in five years. All signs point to increased but prudent spending." Levy said.
One of the common trends this year is cash, rather than credit. The survey finds that 83 percent of consumers plan to pay for gifts up front. Only 12 percent intend to use credit cards and pay off holiday gifts in 2012.
For more information on the survey, you can go to the website www.siena.edu/sri/research