Denver-area shoppers expected to spend 15% more this holiday season

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Even with inflation still hanging around, a survey of Denver-area holiday shoppers shows they “plan to spend like it’s 2019 again.”

A survey by Deloitte found that Denver shoppers expect to spend an average of $1,902 this holiday season, which is up 15% from 2022 and 15% higher than this year’s national average.

Rachel Smeak, the Denver-based managing director of Deloitte Consulting, said shoppers’ anticipated spending is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“What was a bit surprising is that consumers plan to spend like it’s 2019 again,” Smeak added.

Nationwide, people reported planning to spend an average of $1,652 on gifts this year, surpassing pre-pandemic figures for the first time, according to Deloitte’s survey.

The National Retail Federation is also predicting a robust holiday shopping season. The survey by the organization and Prosper Insights and Analytics estimates that 182 million people plan to shop in stores and online. The number is up 15.7 million from last year and the business association’s highest estimate since it began tracking the data in 2017.

Consumer spending has been charging along despite inflation and speculation about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases to bring down prices will cause a recession. The Wall Street Journal reported that Americans spent 0.01% less in October, but economists had expected a larger decrease.

However, inflation has somewhat tempered spending plans, Smeak said. About 74% of Denver-area shoppers are budgeting for fewer gifts, from 10 in 2022 to nine this year.

And 41% of the Denver-area respondents who have student loans said they’ll cut back on holiday spending this year.

“We’re seeing a lot of folks being very focused on promotional events, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is pretty consistent with last year,” Smeak said.

Deloitte’s national survey found that people plan to spend an average of $567 during Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events, a 13% jump from 2022.

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