Are Americans Too Broke to Celebrate the Holiday Shopping Season?
Shopping is practically a national pastime in America. No matter what the occasion, consumers are encouraged to visit stores and purchase items to make themselves feel good. In fact, consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy. However, many Americans are looking to escape consumerism this holiday shopping season.
Despite improvements in unemployment rates and a rising stock market, nearly four in 10 Americans plan to spend less this holiday season than they did last year, according to a new report from Bankrate.com. Only 14 percent plan to spend more this year, while 47 percent plan to spend about the same. Americans planning to spend less outnumber those planning to spend more in each age and income group. Unsurprisingly, households with income less than $50,000 are the most likely to say they plan to spend less this year.
“Many Americans continue to struggle with little or no savings and stagnant wages, forcing them to rein in their spending this holiday season,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst. “Overall, Americans are feeling more financially secure after the government shutdown and debt ceiling saga were resolved, but many are still clutching their pocketbooks closely.”