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TheStreet Open House

Discover Survey Shows Consumers Have A Merry Outlook On Spending

Stock quotes in this article: DFS

Consumers plan to spend more this holiday season than in 2011 by about $100, according to the 2012 Discover Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which examines spending intentions and trends for the upcoming holiday season. Spending jumped to an average of $838 this year, up from $748 in 2011, and women will lead in spending by nearly $165.

Just more than half of consumers, 51 percent, have a set budget for the 2012 holiday season. Exactly half of consumers say they plan to spend about the same as they did in 2011, and 23 percent plan to spend more this year. Forty-two percent say retailers’ sales and promotions will most influence their holiday spending, followed by household expenses at 27 percent and job loss/gain at 13 percent.

Key Spending Figures

Forty-six percent of shoppers plan to spend between $100 and $500, while roughly one-quarter, 26 percent, say they plan to spend between $500 and $1,000. The number of consumers who report planning to spend $1,000 to $5,000 increased to 14 percent in 2012, up 2 percent from last year.

Shoppers say they will spend the most on children and a significant other this holiday season, at 42 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Gifts for co-workers and bosses will receive the smallest share of holiday budgets at 1 percent, with friends coming in second-to-last at 6 percent.

Twice as many women, 56 percent compared to 28 percent of men, will spend the most on their children. However, more men, 30 percent, will spend the most on their significant other, compared to 23 percent of women who said the same. More men also plan to spend the most on their parents, as 25 percent listed them at the top of their spending list compared to just 10 percent of women.

Savvy Shopping Strategies

Consumers will employ a wide variety of savvy shopping tricks to get the best deals this holiday season, with two major trends taking the lead. To find the best deal on a purchase, 75 percent of consumers say they will shop around online for better prices, and 63 percent plan to seek out special shopping incentives, like free shipping, to make the most of their budget.

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