Christmas shopping: Americans spending slightly more on gifts during pandemic, poll suggests

Americans are expected to spend slightly more on holiday gifts during the coronavirus pandemic compared to last year.

Consumers will spend an estimated average of $852 on Christmas gifts, $6 more than holiday spending in 2019, when the average was $846, according to a new Gallup poll. And the slight uptick could be part of a trend to make seasons brighter amid rising COVID-19 cases, socially distanced holiday gatherings, and spending time apart from loved ones during the pandemic, the survey suggests.

Americans are spending more money on holiday gifts this year, a new poll suggests. (iStock)

Gallup found that the results are very similar to consumer spending habits in 2019, suggesting that the economic uncertainty of the pandemic isn’t stopping shoppers from splurging during the holidays. Of those polled, 32% of consumers plan to shell out as much as $1,000 or more on holiday gifts, while 21% of Americans estimate they’ll spend between $500 and $999. Only 29% plan on spending between $100 and $499, and 2% say they’ll spend less than $100. (A percentage of respondents were still unsure of their exact budgets.)

What’s more, spending based on income level also remains nearly unchanged compared to last year, the survey found. Currently, those living in households with an annual income of $100,000 or more per year plan to spend an average of $1,291 on gifts. That number drops to $888 among individuals making between $40,000 and $99,999, and down to $516 on spending among people earning less than $40,000.


Whether or not Americans decide to budget on gifting could be dependent on another round of stimulus funding. Indeed, separate findings from the new Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study published earlier this month found that holiday sales could be bolstered by a new round of federal stimulus checks before the end of the year. More Americans (37%) were more likely to say they’d spend less money on holiday gifts instead of more (16%) without another round of government stimulus funding. However, that number drops to 30% when people were asked how likely they were to spend less on gifts if given the additional $1,200 stimulus.


The news comes as Americans gear up for the biggest online sales of the holiday season with Cyber Monday underway. Americans are estimated to spend up to $12.7 billion this year according to Adobe Analytics. And Black Friday sales hit a record $9 billion in the U.S. this year. That number represents nearly 22% year-over-year growth in consumer spending compared to 2019, when Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion, Adobe Analytics found.

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