By Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC News Editor
NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- The special deficit-reduction panel appears to be making little progress in trimming more than a trillion dollars from the federal budget -- and that has prompted some to question whether this will take a bite out of consumer spending this holiday season. The Super Committee has been negotiating behind closed doors since September, and they have until Nov. 23 -- that's the day before Thanksgiving -- to reach an agreement on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures. Some retail experts fear that further political gridlock in Washington will make American consumers even more hesitant to spend during the busiest shopping period of the year.
| More from CNBC The Fed's $40 Billion Iraq Money Trail |
Why You Should Invest Like a Girl
Obama's Refi Plan Is Not a Housing Stimulus
One of the latest, a survey conducted by Deloitte, showed that two-thirds of consumers expect the economy to stay the same or weaken next year. As a result many consumers reported that they would be trimming their gift list and 42% said they planned to spend less this year. Still, Deloitte estimates retail sales will rise between 2.5 and 3% this holiday season. "It's a downbeat story, but I have faith that they will spend more than they say they will," says Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail & distribution leader at Deloitte LLP. Not only do consumers often say one thing in surveys and actually do another thing, but there are groups of consumers who are not paring back as much. Households earnings $100,000 or more annually expect to trim a mere 2% off of their gift spending to shell out an average of $812 on gifts this holiday season, compared with a 26% drop to $291 on gifts among those earning less than $100,000. There also is something compelling about shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and on Cyber Monday, the Monday that follows it, because consumers expect that is when they can snag the best deals. Nearly three-quarters of the more than 5,000 consumers polled by Deloitte said they would hold off until after Thanksgiving to make the majority of their holiday purchases. Last year, Black Friday was the day that rang up the most sales of the holiday season, and Cyber Monday was the busiest day for online retailers. There also was a huge surge in spending on Thanksgiving itself, especially among consumers using mobile devices. "Consumers tend to follow the same patterns," says John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM Coremetrics. "That is when there are the very best promotions and offers, when inventories are at their highest, and when shipping deals are the best," he says. And the lure of the Black Friday bargain may trump what politicians in Washington do or say. -- Written by Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC News Editor