Las Vegas With over a third of the federal tax rebate money already distributed, consumers mostly intend to use the money to pay down debt, according to the findings from a special International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) tax rebate survey that was conducted by Opinion Research Corp.
The survey found that 51% of consumers receiving a rebate intended to use it to pay off debt, which was up considerably from consumer intentions earlier in the year.
Of those taxpayers that have not already received the rebate, the percent of consumers intending to pay off debt was an even higher 55%.
Moreover, households with income of $50,000 or less were more likely (61.5%) to earmark those rebates for debt reduction.
"Although the lion's share of the rebate money will not be spent, the nearly 22% of the rebate that is likely to end up in the spending stream will still boost consumer spending by nearly $25 billion," said Michael P. Niemira, VP, director of research and chief economist for the ICSC.
With some retailers offering consumer incentives to spend the rebate money, consumers reported that retailer incentives tied to grocery items would most likely (52%) cause them to take advantage of those promotions. The second most attractive (42%) use of rebate money was on retailer incentives tied to energy-efficiency products for the home, the report said.