November 20, 2012
Georgia Southern University’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development has released its annual fall Consumer Confidence Survey, which reveals that consumers appear more optimistic as the holiday shopping season begins, and most plan to spend the same amount of money on gifts as they did last year.
“I think as people get ready to start their holiday shopping, we see a little bit more positive picture than we have in years past,” said Ben McKay, research associate with the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development. “I think that consumers are, if not more optimistic, they are more adjusted to the current conditions.”
Here are a few highlights from the survey:
• On average, those surveyed plan to buy gifts for 9.8 people and spend about $970 total on gifts.
• Of participants, 53 percent plan to spend the same amount as they did last year, and 25 percent plan to spend less than last year.
• Of those surveyed, 54 percent plan to complete most of their shopping between Black Friday and Dec. 15, and 22 percent plan to finish in November on or before Black Friday.
• Of participants, 46 percent plan to do no online shopping this holiday season; in contrast, 32percent plan to do more than a quarter of their shopping online.
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the state’s unemployment rate for October was 8.7 percent. With the jobless rate down from 9.7 percent in October 2011, optimism appears to be growing.
“As you look at the Georgia economy, we are beginning to see a little bit more of an uptick in job growth,” explained McKay. “I think that people are starting to feel a little bit more of the momentum. They are starting to feel a lot better as they see their friends and neighbors go back to work. That makes them feel better and gets them to start thinking about opening their wallets a little bit more this time of the year.”
The survey data were collected with the help of Dora Schmit, Ph.D., and her marketing research classes.