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Americans Squeeze Shopping Budget for Holidays

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Almost 40% of Americans plan to spend less on gifts this holiday season than they did last year, the largest such percentage since 2013, according to the CNBC All-America Economic Survey.

Just 11% plan to spend more, as Americans continue to cope with surging Covid-19 cases and widespread unemployment.

Of the 800 Americans surveyed, 29% said they plan to spend less due to lost wages or income, 19% cited the coronavirus, and 17% cited the poor economy.

The average American plans to spend just $886, down 10% from their planned spending last year, according to the survey.

Of the 800 Americans surveyed, 29% said they plan to spend less due to lost wages or income, 19% cited the coronavirus, and 17% cited the poor economy.

The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.

All income groups reported planning to spend less this year compared with a year ago.

When it comes to actual dollars they plan to spend, the wealthiest Americans could be holding back the most.

Americans could be saving for a potential 2021 downturn. A third of respondents said they believe the economy will get worse in the next year, double the percentage from October.

That’s despite the development and imminent deployment of a Covid vaccine.

Outlook fell along party lines, though: Republicans have turned negative with the election of Vice President Joe Biden, while Democrats have turned positive.

Americans’ views on the current state of the economy remain about the same as last quarter with 34% characterizing it as “good” or “excellent,” compared with 62% who call it “fair” or “poor.”

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