Americans May Be Price Conscious, But They Are Spending More: Gallup

  @MeaganKaym.clark@ibtimes.com on December 02 2013 2:38 PM
Thanksgiving 2013 Shopping
Thanksgiving Day holiday shoppers line up with television sets on discount at the Target retail store in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 28, 2013. Reuters/Jeff Haynes

Americans reported spending an average of $91 per day last month, more than they spent in October and in prior Novembers from 2009 to 2012, according to a Gallup poll published Monday.

To get an estimate of daily discretionary spending, Gallup asked Americans every night from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 how much they spent the previous day aside from paying household bills and making major purchases like homes and cars. 

Except for 2008, when Americans spent significantly less amid the financial crisis, Americans have spent an average $2 more each day in November compared to October and $7 more each day in December compared to November for the past five years, according to Gallup.

“Spending in general in 2013 remains much stronger than it had been during the long slump from 2009 to late 2012 after the financial crisis,” the Gallup report says. “If daily reported spending increases substantially, as is typical, from November to December, the coming month could be the strongest for spending that Gallup has measured since 2008.”

It’s unclear how the increased spending will affect holiday spending. Other Gallup polls show Americans were more optimistic in October about spending this holiday season than they were in November, but Gallup predicts that even a weaker November estimate compared with October will be an increase in retail spending from last holiday season.

“Customers appear to be very price conscious, while, at the same time, willing to spend on discretionary items when the opportunity warrants,” Barclays said in a note released Monday.

UBS Global Equity Research stated Monday that Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales have given retail stores a solid start to the holiday sales season in light of low expectations. But since peak shopping days are still ahead, it's too early to know whether six fewer shopping days compared to last year will cut short this year’s sales. 

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