U.S. Holiday Spending up 4.1 Percent Over 2010

Thursday, 29 December 2011, 06:42 Hrs
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U.S. Holiday Spending up 4.1 Percent Over 2010

Washington: In the five weeks before Christmas, a U.S. consumer spent an average of $78 per day, that is 4.1 percent more than during the same period in 2010, a Gallup poll reported.

The company followed the spending of more than 3,000 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to arrive at its calculations for consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of US economic activity.

The National Retail Federation last week calculated that consumer spending during the traditional holiday season this year would be 3.8 percent higher than in 2010.

Apparently, the fall in unemployment to the lowest level of the year and the moderation in the price of gasoline since February combined to create a more favourable spending environment this season.

However, Gallup said, spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations and online purchasing averaged $83 per consumer per day during the week ending Dec 25, compared with average spending of $85 per day a year ago.

"After getting off to a good start during the first three weeks of the holiday season, consumer spending decreased to match 2010 levels in the past two weeks," the polling firm said.

The holiday shopping season begins in the US on the Friday following Thanksgiving - which this year fell Nov 24 - and gets a final push during the last week of the year with the spate of post-Christmas sales.

Two-and-a-half years after the end of the deepest and prolonged recession in almost 80 years in the US, the growth in economic activity has remained slow and is laboring under the burden of stagnant real estate activity and 8.6 percent unemployment.

Source: IANS
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