Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources


Release Date: 10/28/2010

Consumer Reports Poll: Consumers Plan To Cut Back On Holiday Spending Less So Than In ‘Recession’ Years

42 Percent Say Getting the Best Prices on Holiday Gifts is Critical; 13.6 Million Americans Still Carry Debt from Last Season’s Shopping

YONKERS, NY — Some shoppers may be loosening their financial belts a bit this holiday season, but ongoing economic turbulence continues to motivate many to insist on getting a bigger bang for their buck.  According to a new Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, about one in three Americans plan to spend less this holiday season, down from 42 percent in 2008. The full results of this latest poll are available at

“Consumers are optimistic, but they don’t necessarily believe that happy days are here again.  Credit is tight, unemployment remains high, the value of their homes has dropped and many Americans are facing the prospect of higher taxes of all levels,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “So while it’s a bit surprising that some plan to spend somewhat more than last year, the fact is they’re insisting on value, value, value.” 

In a previous poll conducted by Consumer Reports at the conclusion of the last holiday shopping season, shoppers estimated they spent on average $811 – 16 percent higher than what they had planned.  The majority of those recently surveyed plan to use cash as often and about four in ten will cut back on credit and debit card spending.  That’s probably a good thing.   In 2009, Americans who paid with credit cards charged more than they anticipated – $180 more on average.

Another problem with using credit cards is that consumers tend to carry debt for a long time.  The latest Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll revealed some 13.6 million Americans remain saddled with last years’ leftover holiday debt.

Additional findings from Consumer Reports first Holiday Shopping Poll of 2010 include:

‘Tis Better to Give Than Receive

  • Nearly a third (31%) of adults reported that they plan to cutback on gifts for themselves. Overall, they expect to spend more on charitable giving and gifts for others.

Tackling Holiday Shopping

  • Most people haven’t begun shopping. As of mid-October, only about a quarter (28%) of Americans had started.  Twenty percent do not expect to finish until after December 23rd.

Budgets on the Decline

  • Nearly half (47%) of Americans are planning to set a budget for their holiday purchases.  That’s down 12 percentage points from the height of the recession in 2008. 
  • Making a budget and sticking to it are two different things.  Of the 36 percent of consumers who made a budget last year, 39 percent reported that they exceeded it; five percent said they went way over budget.

Happy Holidays Are Here Again

  • Holiday optimism continues to grow.  Forty percent of adults expect their holiday season to be happier than last year.  Households with kids under 12 (53%) and younger adults aged 18 – 34 (58%) are particularly optimistic about the upcoming holiday season.

Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted two telephone surveys of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households.  1,023 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+ between January 7 – 10, 2010 for the post 2009 holiday data.  Another 1,010 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+ between October 14 – 18, 2010.  The margin of error is +/- 3% points at a 95% confidence level.

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.