There are likely to be fewer gifts under Christmas trees this year thanks to inflation running so much hotter than expected.
Consumers plan to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday items, and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year, according to the annual survey released Thursday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
That’s around what consumers spent last year, the National Retail Federation said.
But prices are much higher. Compared with a year ago, consumer prices are 5.4 percent higher. Adjusted for inflation, holiday sending looks set to fall.
To put it slightly differently, if families this year spend just about what they did last year, they are going to have to settle for fewer gifts.
“Overall plans for holiday spending remain slightly below the pre-pandemic high of $1,047.83 in 2019, as fewer consumers plan to spend on non-gift purchases for themselves and their families,” the federation said.
Plans to spend on gifts fell to $648, down $2 from a year ago and $11 below the prepandemic level.
The supply chain disruptions loom large in the minds of consumers. Forty-seven percent of holiday shoppers are concerned they will have difficulty finding items this year. The top items they are worried about finding are electronics (44%), clothes (40%), and toys (28%). Forty-nine percent said they are planning on starting their holiday shopping before November, the highest ever in the survey.