Tightfisted holiday shoppers

A third of U.S. adults said they would spend less this year than they did in 2008 on gifts, while 49 per cent would spend about the same amount, according to a Consumer Reports poll on holiday shopping.

Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of respondents said they were planning to “cut back” on total holiday expenses, which include travel plans, presents and holiday decorations.

More Americans are also “regifting,” or passing on a gift they got to someone else – 36 per cent of adults this year say they’ve done so, compared with 31 per cent last year and 24 per cent in 2007.

The survey polled 1,000 U.S. adults from 15 October to 18 October

It its worth noting, though, that Americans who plan to spend less doesn’t always do so. The survey found that of those Americans who made a budget for last year’s holiday gift buying, 44 per cent spent more than they had intended.

The poll also said 6 per cent of adults still carry holiday debt from last year, unchanged from last year. If extrapolated to the broader population of the country that implies 13.5 million consumers are still carrying debt from last year’s holidays.

Clothing and electronics remained the top gifts to give, the survey said.

The survey, conducted randomly by telephone, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.