The latest poll from Gallup suggests that retailers may not get the year-end revenue boost they were anticipating. Americans say they expect to spend an average of $704 this year, an 8.6% decline over last year's planned spending of $770.
The disparity is even more marked when contrasting October data versus November's: Just last month, respondents said they were planning on spending $786. This marks the first year shoppers tightened their belts since 2008.
Gallup trend modeling suggests that the new data points to an overall holiday spending increase of 1.7% to 2.4% over 2012.
If all goes as planned according to consumer expectations, only 15% will spend more than they did last year. The majority (57%) plan on spending the same amount, and 26% plan to spend less. However, the 11-point lead over those planning to spend more is the narrowest its been since the pre-recession years. The resulting difference alone suggests an uptick of 5%, says Gallup.