Slumping economic growth and an uncertain employment scenario may play the Grinch to many people’s holidays this year.
An online survey of over 2,000 people conducted by Harris Interactive for online loan provider CashNetUSA found that nearly half of Americans (46%) will be cutting their holiday spending this year compared to 2012. This follows a sharp decline in consumer confidence in October.
The hardest hit category of spending is on family members, with 63% reporting that they would cut spending on gifts for family members. Meanwhile, 54% plan to spend less on gifts for non-family members such as teachers or service providers. Other categories like decorations and holiday meals are taking a hit, with 47% and 43% cutting spending on these categories.
A brighter spot is spending on children and grandchildren, with only 35% reporting reduced spending on gifts for them.
Geographically, the South fares the worst, as 55% of those surveyed from the region plan to cut spending this year.
According to Megan Staton, director of marketing for CashNetUSA, “Americans are focusing on basic spending and curtailing what is perceived as non-essential costs. With prices increasing and paychecks staying the same or declining, many Americans have no choice but to shorten the length of their holiday shopping lists.”