Consumer Optimism Could Lead to a Stronger Holiday Season

Consumer Optimism Could Lead to a Stronger Holiday Season

With two weeks left and 54 percent of consumers stating they still haven’t started their holiday shopping, the 2012 holiday season could be one for retailers to celebrate. The latest weekly Nielsen Holiday Survey found an increase in the number of consumers who say they plan on spending more on holiday shopping this year than last.

The Nielsen Holiday Survey is a weekly consumer survey of 1,100 demographically representative households, beginning the week of September 10th. Nielsen releases the results weekly, which tracks  consumers’ planned spending for the holiday season on an ongoing basis.

“While the economic climate still has several major headwinds and uncertainties, improving consumer confidence and labor market, coupled with aggressive marketing by retailers and manufacturers, is reinforcing the potential for a stronger holiday season,” says James Russo, senior vice president, global consumer insights, Nielsen.

As reported in the Nielsen Holiday Forecast, the survey found that the majority of consumers plan on spending $250 to $500 this season.

“However, we have seen a 5 point increase this week in consumers who say they plan on spending more this season; 22 percent of consumers say they will spend more this holiday season than in 2011,” says Russo. “This is the highest level that we’ve seen since the start of the survey since September.”

Consumers say their top three choices for holiday shopping are super centers, department stores and online. Consumers also report that they will be purchasing clothing, gift cards and big ticket items, like consumer electronics.