Despite a record month for the stock market and other tentative signs of economic improvement, Americans say they are still planning to spend less this holiday season, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.
The annual pre-Christmas poll of 1,006 adults conducted Oct. 14-17 found that 52 percent said they planned to stick to a tight budget this year and 33 percent said they definitely planned to spend less money than last year. Only 15 percent of those surveyed said they would probably spend more.
The survey also found that discounted sales could be the key that makes or breaks the holiday season for retailers, since 44 percent of those surveyed said bargain hunting would be more important for them this year than last.
“As we approach the 2011 winter holidays — the fourth straight season set against a backdrop of economic uncertainly — Americans remain fixated on finances: their own and that of the nation,” said Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks. “So it’s not surprising that people are even more intent on watching their dollars, shopping on a set budget and, of course, bargain-hunting.”
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