Skip to main content

Public Plans to Spend Slightly Less: Gallup Poll


Princeton, N.J., Anew Gallup Poll, conducted Nov. 7-10, finds the public planning to spend an average of $730 on gifts this holiday season. That estimate is similar to the $734 that Gallup recorded at approximately the same time a year ago, suggesting the possibility of a comparable retail season.

"With the holiday season accounting for roughly a quarter of annual retail sales in the U.S., there is a tremendous amount riding on the spending pattern of consumers over the next seven weeks," said Gallup Poll editor-in-chief Dr. Frank Newport. "At the same time, this year's figure is lower than Americans' spending intentions at comparable times in 1999 and 2000a€”meaning it doesn't appear, based on the data, that this holiday season is going to be a blockbuster for retailers and a return to the robust times of the boom of several years ago."

Americans' spending intentions normally change as the holiday season progresses, and they actually begin buying holiday gifts. Gallup will continue to measure these spending projections in the weeks ahead to see if the same pattern occurs this year. There typically is an increase in total dollars spent each year based on increased population and inflation, but if Americans do not project a significantly higher level of spending in the next few weeks, then retailers may not see much more than a "normal" increase in spending this year compared to the 2003 season.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds