Poll Reveals Cautious Consumers

Costa Mesa, Calif., According to the latest Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index (SM) survey, 32% of consumers expect to spend less this year, while just 12% expect to spend more and 56% expect to spend about the same.

“Consumers cite financial factors, especially the price of energy, but also general price increases and lower income as the major reasons why they will spend less,” said Ed Ojdana, group president of Experian Interactive. “About half of all consumers expect to spend $500 or less, while the other half expect to spend more than $500. About a third of consumers, 34%, expect to spend at least $1,000.”

In light of financial difficulties, the vast majority of consumers expect to limit their spending to the amount of money they have on hand. Only 12% say that their holiday spending will increase their credit-card debt.

About one in five households, 22%, will have extra money available this holiday season in the form of a holiday bonus from their employer. Most will use at least part of it to cover holiday expenses, while others will use some of it to help pay off current debt or make a special purchase. About half will save or invest at least part of the bonus.