Recession-like attitudes about the economy aren't going to put a damper on Americans' shopping plans. On the contrary, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey found that people plan to spend more this holiday season than they did last year.
The average American plans to spend $751 on gifts this year, up 22 percent from last year’s spending plans, reports CNBC.
The wealthy are responsible for driving the number higher, says CNBC, but the survey finds that every single income group, including those with salaries $30,000 or lower, intend to dig deeper into their wallets this year to spread Yuletide cheer.
For some, it is baffling why negative economic outlooks are being met with positive spending habits. But data suggest that consumers could be looking at the economy and personal finance through two different lenses.
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Following Black Friday, analysts were highly optimistic saying that if the occasion was any indication of what was to come, retailers would indeed have a merry holiday season. Since then positive retail figures appear to be holding up.
But it appears that the foundation for all of the spending was laid with improving attitudes toward personal finance.
Market Watch reported that most consumers still view the economy as poor, though the percentage of consumers giving the economy poor marks dropped seven points from last month to 61 percent.
However, the number of consumers believing their personal finances are getting better increased for the third consecutive month to 18 percent, up 2 points compared to October, Market Watch reported.
CNBC's survey found that only one in five Americans plans to use credit to make their Christmas purchases.
Meanwhile, Market Watch found that 48 percent of consumers expect to have money left over after they finish paying their monthly bills, an increase of more than 3 points compared to October and the highest level since February.
Further suggesting that attitudes toward personal finance are impacting holiday spending trends are findings from CNBC that groups that plan to increase spending by the largest percentages are the wealthy, those expecting wage increases and those expecting home values to rise.
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