June 20, 2024

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Don’t expect a holiday gift bonanza this year. More than half of consumers plan to spend less amid inflation and economic worries

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Nearly three quarters of consumers are delaying holiday purchases for discount shopping events such as Black Friday or Singles Day, and more than half plan to reduce spending to save money, according to a study from Ernst & Young. 

The report underscores how consumer spending patterns are shifting, with higher levels of inflation, rising interest rates and credit-card delinquencies eroding purchasing power, Jim Doucette, consumer products and retail leader at EY-Parthenon, said in an interview. 

The findings are from a poll of more than 22,000 consumers in 28 countries, including the US, China, India, Brazil, Japan and Germany. Of those surveyed, 80% say they’re concerned about their finances. To stretch budgets, more consumers plan to cook and entertain at home this year and cut back on restaurant takeout. 

Kristina Rogers, EY’s global consumer leader, added that consumers are “constantly re-evaluating what they deem to be essential, and are increasingly avoiding non-essential impulse purchases.” 

The study, which was conducted in September and early October, shows that 50% of consumers say they will shop mostly or only online this season — a 16% increase from last year, but still below the 61% that favored e-commerce in 2020. Ten percent say they’ll only do in-store shopping this year, which is 14% less than last year and barely higher than in 2020, when the pandemic was still limiting consumer mobility. 

EY’s survey shows that 39% of consumers in the US and 35% in Europe plan to spend less during the holidays. In China, only 11% say they’ll spend less this year, while 45% plan to increase spending. 

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Diana Li, The Associated Press

2023-11-08 19:53:05

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