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So much for holiday cheer.

Retail Forward’s ShopperScape reports that consumers appear to be fairly restrained in their plans for holiday spending this year, with 31 percent of those surveyed saying they plan to spend less on gifts this year – five percentage points higher than the number of consumers who said the same thing a month ago.

The downbeat assessment seems to cut across all demographic groups, with so-called “down market shoppers” being the most pessimistic – almost four out of ten people surveyed in this group say they plan to spend less, compared to just over three out of ten a month ago.

In addition, shoppers said that “practicality” and “affordability” are two characteristics that will influence their gift-buying, with “uniqueness” being a less important attribute.
KC's View:
Consumer concerns about the economy seem to be confirmed by another study that we read, from STORES magazine, saying that more and more consumers are using debit cards instead of credit cards to make purchases because they want to do what they can to reduce personal debt.

We remain supremely skeptical about the nation’s short-term economic prospects. There are just too many wild cards out there.