For 37 years, the annual holiday survey has provided insight into consumer sentiment as shoppers prepare for a season of socializing, gift-giving, and travel. The 2022 holiday season will likely be defined by the continued impact of inflation on the US economy and a shift in consumer priorities as consumers find ways to keep the holidays festive. Finances are taking a hit-37% of American househol ds say their financial situation is worse than lastyear, and nearly three-quarters (73%) expect product prices to be higher this year.
But there are bright spots this season despite economic pressures. Holiday spirit(and spending) is alive and well:Overall spending in 2022 is expected to match 2021 levels, at $1,455 per consumer.Another encouraging story comes from the low-income group,where stability brought on by wage growth has shoppers feeling more hopeful and returning to prepandemicspending levels.
Still, consumers are feeling the pinch of higher prices. They may be spending the same amount overall,but they are not spending the same way. Looking for ways to outsmart inflation, non-gift purchases are being reined in to keep the traditions of gift-giving and sodalizing alive. Consumers also plan to purchase fewer gifts while shifting more of their budget to gift cards. As a result, shopping will get wrapped up in a much shorter window.