New York City Consumers are not very hopeful about the economy, but their holiday shopping plans remain intact, according to Deloitte’s 25th Annual Holiday Survey.
Six out of 10 (62%) of survey respondents plan to spend more or the same on the holidays, up 11% from Deloitte's 2009 holiday survey and the highest level since 2006. The anticipated rise in holiday spending comes despite that fact that nearly only four out of 10 (39% ) survey respondents expect the economy to improve next year, down from more than half (54% ) who anticipated an improvement at this time last year.
In other survey findings:
- Two-thirds (66% ) of consumers indicate their household financial situation is the same or better than last year at this time, a 10% point rise from 2009.
- Consumers plan to spend a total of $466 on gifts, the first increase since 2004. However, the average number of gifts fell for the third consecutive year, to 16.8.
- Consumers' total anticipated holiday spend this year rose slightly to $1,160 from $1,145 in 2009 on gift and non-gift categories that include socializing away from home, entertaining, non-gift clothing, and home/holiday furnishings.
- Gift cards land at the top of the list of gift items consumers plan to purchase for the seventh year in a row. However, the total number of cards that consumers plan to buy slipped to 5, from 5.4 in 2009.
The survey revealed the growing influence of mobile and online channels. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents indicate that online research will influence their holiday purchases. Among the nearly one out of five shoppers (17% ) who plan to use their smartphones in the holiday shopping process, 56% of them will do so to compare prices. And more than one out of 10 (12%) of consumers will turn to social networks for information such as gift ideas and coupons, discounts and sale information this holiday season.
Consumers, however, maintain a careful approach to spending, as nearly three-quarters (73%) plan to change the way they shop this holiday season in an effort to save money. Almost half (46% of those surveyed intend to purchase more gifts with cash than they have in the past, and 36% say they have permanently cut back the amount of money they spend.