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Melanie Backs
American Express
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TRENDING FOR THE HOLIDAYS: GIFTING, RE-GIFTING AND PRIMPING

New York, December 13, 2013 – A few weeks into the holiday shopping season, consumers are taking a smart approach to spending, with 66% of holiday shoppers creating a budget and 75% considering shopping last minute (77% in 2012), in part to take advantage of the best deals (45% vs. 37% in 2012) and take time to save enough to cover purchases (20% vs. 27% in 2012), according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Though more than half of Americans (54%) say the economic uncertainty is causing them to watch their budgets, consumers aren’t leaving work colleagues off their list or forgoing a new holiday outfit or haircut, and many Americans (64%) intend to save some budget to give back this year, donating an average of $130 to charity.

 

Holiday Shoppers Plan their Clicks and Coupon Clips to Spend More and Purchase Earlier

With a late Thanksgiving and the shortest holiday shopping season in years, consumers say they’re starting their holiday shopping sooner and spending more this year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.  While it’s still not clear how the holiday season will actually play out, consumers say they will expect to spend $1,260, up $400 from last year. Aiming to find the best deals, more than a quarter of Americans say they’ve already started holiday shopping and will finish before December 1st  (27% vs. 24% in 2012), while others expect to finish a week before Christmas (37% vs. 33% in 2012).

 

SPENDING IS TRENDING WITH HOLIDAYS ON THE HORIZON

As retailers speculate about the upcoming holiday spend season, the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker reveals that consumer financial confidence is trending up, amidst a year of fluctuating economic indicators.  Among employed Americans, 81% feel more or just as stable in their jobs, compared to one year ago, and with this feeling of stability, two thirds (66%) of all consumers surveyed report discretionary spending to be as much as or more than they expected at the start of the year.  As retailers speculate about the upcoming holiday spend season, the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker reveals that consumer financial confidence is trending up, amidst a year of fluctuating economic indicators.  Among employed Americans, 81% feel more or just as stable in their jobs, compared to one year ago, and with this feeling of stability, two thirds (66%) of all consumers surveyed report discretionary spending to be as much as or more than they expected at the start of the year. 

BACK-TO-SCHOOL GADGET BUYS ARE UP, THOUGH KIDS STILL NEED PENCILS TO CHEW ON

New York, August 20, 2013 – Ninety two percent of Americans will hit the stores for back-to-school shopping this fall, spending an average of $1,094 on supplies, up 26% since last year, according to the latest American Express Spending and Savings Tracker. A probable cause for the increase, half of parents with school-aged children plan to buy at least one digital gadget this back-to-school season, up from just 36% last year. Top tech buys on the back-to-school lists include:

  • Laptops (25% vs. 15%)
  • Scientific calculators (18% vs. 15%)
  • Tablets (15% vs. 7%)
  • Mobile phones (13% vs. 12%)

Infographic: Parents' Electronic Back to School Shopping List

School’s Out: How American Kids “Spend” the Summer

As children across the US get knee-deep into the summer, parents expect to spend an average of $856 per child on summer activities, up 40% from 2012, according to the most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. This amounts to an expected $55 billion spent in the US on keeping kids busy, entertained and educated during the off-school months.  Additionally, more than a third (35%) of teens sought out summertime employment. Yet, not all spending money will come from summer-time paychecks. Parents are giving kids a hefty raise, as the average weekly allowance rose to $32 per week, up almost 70% from 2012.

SUMMER TRAVEL SOARS; MANY AMERICANS TO SPEND MORE

Summer travel plans are up 17% from last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, as more than two-thirds (69% vs. 59% in 2012) of consumers plan to get away in the next three months.  Affluent consumers are leading the way, with 81% (vs. 73% in 2012) hitting U.S. roads and skies, and 38% (up from 29%) heading to international destinations.  With more summer travel trips on the horizon, many Americans expect to spend more too. Thirty-one percent of travelers plan to spend more than $1,000 per person on their summer adventures (up from 27% in 2012) with the total expected summer travel spend averaging $1,145 per person.

Wedding Season: What You’ll Spend to Attend

Sixty-nine million Americans will attend one or more weddings this year, and they expect to spend 59% more than last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Guests are anticipating a cost of $539 per wedding, and most of that budget will go towards travel ($167), treating themselves to some new apparel and accessories ($161), and the couple’s wedding gift ($108).

Moving Out and Sprucing Up

Fifteen percent of Americans, or approximately 35 million people, expect to move in 2013, a 50% increase from last year.

Valentine’s Day 2013: Couples to Spend, Knees to Bend

Americans are earmarking an average of $239 per person this year to spend on Valentine’s Day gifts, entertainment, dinning out and weekend getaways, up from $196 last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

February 2012 Survey >>

Financial Optimism on the Rise: How Americans Plan to Spend and Stash Cash in 2013

More Americans (39% vs. 35% in 2012) say they are financially “optimistic” going into 2013, while 10% (vs. 6%) report they are “unconcerned,” according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

Most holiday shoppers (86%) still holiday shopping, 57% expected to shop on Dec 26

With just a few weeks left in the annual Holiday shop-a-thon, 86% of holiday shoppers still have more to buy (down from 91% the same time last year), according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

January 2012 Survey >>