Americans plan to spend more this Christmas than in two decades

Ritu Manoj Jethani |

Americans plan to spend nearly $1,000 this Christmas, newly released polling shows.

Gallup polling shows that Americans expect to spend $975 this holiday season on Christmas presents and other holiday gifts. That figure is the highest since 1999.

“Last year at this time, U.S. holiday retail sales seemed poised to increase by between about 4% and 6%, according to Gallup’s modeling comparing its holiday spending estimate trends with actual holiday retail sales for each year. In fact, average November-December 2022 retail sales (not including autos and gas) increased by 6.2%,” Gallup said.

This increase in spending could be good news for retailers.

“The same modeling procedure applied to Americans’ restrained spending estimate this October suggested holiday sales would increase by about 4% — a relatively moderate rate of annual growth similar to the long-term average,” Gallup said. “Now, with consumers’ spending estimate rising to $975, it appears year-over-year holiday sales could grow by somewhere between 6% and 9%.”

Spending on holiday gifts took a sharp dip during the 2007-2008 financial recession but has steadily risen since then.

“Americans’ November forecast for their holiday gift spending has more than recovered from the $616 low recorded during the 2008 financial crisis when it had tumbled by $250 from the year prior,” Gallup said. “Since then, it has generally trended upward, although it was fairly steady near $850 for the past four years before surging well past that this year.”

While Americans will spend more on gifts this year than in years past, they may not get much more for it since inflation has risen more than 17% since President Joe Biden took office. 

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.