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Thu Nov 25, 2021, 08:14 AM

Americans will spend more this holiday season, whether they want to or not

WASHINGTON (SBG) — This holiday season, Americans appear to be making up for lost time. They're hitting the road and returning to the skies near pre-pandemic levels. They're preparing to spend more on gifts and get-togethers, even if they don't mean to, as economic uncertainty brings mixed feelings of holiday joy and pocketbook pain.

The National Retail Federation projected Americans will shatter previous holiday sales records, spending up to $859 billion, or 10.5% more than 2020. Shoppers are feeling more comfortable returning to stores and they are flexing their purchasing power with online sales that could top $226 billion.

All told, the average American will spend about $1,000 this year on gifts, decorations, food and other purchases related to the holidays —Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas.

Underneath the exuberance, many Americans are concerned about overspending. Inflation, which is at a 30-year high, is weighing heavily on holiday budgets and it is expected to continue well into the new year. Thanksgiving dinner will be 14% more expensive this year, thanks to rising food costs and supply chain issues. Turkey prices alone are up 24% over last year.


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