According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, Americans could spend nearly $721 billion on gifts, decor, travel and more during the 2018 holiday season.
In 2017, holiday sales totaled $687.87 billion, the largest year-over-year increase since 2010. Experts forecast an increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent this year for a total $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion in spending.
Individually, total spending is expected to average $1,007.24 per person, up 4.1 percent from last year’s $967.13.
“Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year,” NRF president Matthew Shay said in a news release. “While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”
The bulk of the spending ($638) will go toward gifts with equal sales online and in department stores. And for the 12th year in a row, gift cards are the most popular items (60 percent) on wish lists, followed by clothing and accessories (53 percent) and books/movies/music (37 percent).
NRF’s survey of 7,313 adults features data on consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales. Results focus on holiday retail sales in November and December, excluding gasoline, automobile and restaurant costs.