Goldman Answers 4 Big Questions About Holiday Spending

It’s almost that time of the year when everyone obsesses about the state of holiday spending.

To prepare for that Goldman’s Zach Pandl has sent out a holiday spending Q&A.

First he notes the official forecasts for growth are more subdued than they were last year.

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Surveys of consumers confirm this slightly diminished view.

So as for the four key questions, here they are.

1. When is the holiday shopping season?

According to Pandl it’s actually more than just Black Friday until the end of the year. 20% of holiday gifts are done before November. After Black Friday, the next biggest dates will be December 17, Friday December 23, Monday December 26, and Thursday December 22.

2. How are US consumers looking?

Mixed bag. Consumer confidence is very low. On the other hand, core retail sales are actually holding up quite nicely.

3. What are the forecasts for this year?

As noted above, the official estimates are for around 2-3% growth. That’s a bit down from last year, but actually right in line with the average of the last 10 years. In a survey conducted by Goldman, 62% of respondents said they would spend the same or more on holiday gifts.

4. How does one track holiday spending?

We’ll really get the real answer when official spending data comes out in January, but in the meantime, commentary from the National Retail Federation and Shoppertrak should be helpful.

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