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Survey: Inflation Concerns Won’t Dampen Holiday Spending

But rising costs will place added emphasis on quality, not quantity

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iStock, FamVeld

A new Debt.com survey shows that people won’t spend less this holiday season, but they will spend differently. New research from the personal financial advisory firm shows that a third of consumers are willing to spend just as much as they did last holiday season – but only on the people that matter most.

In addition, Debt.com’s latest poll found that over 64 percent are shopping for the holidays earlier than last year. (Some started as early as July, but a third started in October.) About 45 percent got a head start because of “concerns about supply” and “price markups.” Another 14 percent point to inflation.

“That makes perfect sense,” Debt.com president Don Silvestri said in a news release. “Americans have long been willing to go into debt to have a happy holiday. What they fear most is not getting their hands on that perfect gift, either online or in the store. For most of the year, inflation is the biggest worry. Leading up to the holidays, fear of rising prices will be replaced by fear of sinking availability.”

Instead of watching every penny, shoppers are shifting tactics. While 31 percent said they planned to spend less, even more (34 percent) are going to try this: “I’ll spend the same amount but on fewer gifts.”

“That also makes sense,” Silvestri says. “Tough economic times sharpen our minds as well as our holiday budget. During the holidays, we ask ourselves if we really need to buy gifts for everyone – distant relatives and occasional coworkers, for example. Instead, we’ll show how much we appreciate a small selective group.”

For the full Debt.com report, click here.

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