Financial Security Index survey chart

How do you think your holiday spending this year will compare to last year? Do you expect to:

  • Just 31 percent of college grads say they'll spend less on the holidays this year, while 9 percent say they'll spend more.
  • Nearly half of those earning less than $50,000 say they'll spend less on the holidays, versus about 30 percent of those earning more.
  • About 5 percent of Republicans say they'll spend more this year than they did last year, versus 11 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of Independents.

Consumers are spending now, but they are not going into debt. They are deleveraging.

James Livingston

Professor of history at Rutgers University and author of "Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment and Your Soul

Only 42 percent will spend less on the holidays this year. That is stunning to me in light of what we know about the economy and what we know about consumers and their confidence in the economy. It's amazing to me that the number is not much higher. Consumers are spending now, but they are not going into debt. They are deleveraging. The debt is still massive, but they may have no recourse or less recourse to credit cards and home equity. That is a big difference.

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