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Young shoppers to lead the holiday charge

Higher wages will fuel increased holiday spending this year — particularly among younger generations.

Twenty-five percent of consumers plan to spend more this holiday season than they did last year, according to Discover’s annual holiday shopping survey. Younger generations are leading the charge, as 35% of Millennials and 33% of Generation Z report an expected bump in spending, compared to 26% of Generation X and 16% of Baby Boomers.

The reasons consumers expect to spend more vary between younger and older generations. Gen Z (51%) and Millennials (40%) say higher wages will fuel increased spending, whereas Gen X (38%) and Baby Boomers (36%) will boost spending to accommodate more people on their shopping list.

The number of those who expect to use credit cards to pay for most of their holiday gifts jumped to 38% this year, up from 32% in 2017. Twenty-four percent plan to use debit cards to pay for most of their gifts, and 20% will primarily use cash. Among those who favor credit cards when making holiday purchases, 54% say earning rewards is the driving factor, up from 42% last year.

In other findings from the Discover survey:

• Eighty-percent of Gen Z plan to use their mobile device to shop for holiday gifts, compared to 73% of Millennials, 62% of Gen X and 41% of Baby Boomers.

• Twenty-nine percent of Millennials and 27% of Gen Z plan to use a voice-activated smart speaker to aid in their holiday shopping, compared to 23% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers.

• More than half of respondents, 55%, say they are very or moderately concerned about identity theft or fraud during the holidays, down from 62% last year. Concern cuts across all generations, but levels are higher among Baby Boomers and Gen X.
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