Make us your home page

Retail sales will remain tepid for the Christmas season

For shoppers and retailers alike, it's beginning to look a lot like last Christmas. With consumer spending normally among the last pieces of the economy to recover from a recession, Americans still feel mired in one, according to holiday spending surveys done by Big Research for the National Retail Federation.

"There is a psychological effect lingering over the recession with 62 percent of shoppers saying the economy will affect their gift spending," said Pam Goodfellow, senior analyst at Big Research.

The average household is budgeting $689 — $7 more than 2009 — for gifts, food, decorations and candy. NRF economists forecast a below average 2.3 percent gain to $447 billion over tepid general merchandise sales of a year ago.

Retailers see hopeful glimmers in the results. Interest in getting jewelry as a gift is up 20 percent this season. Growing numbers plan to buy something for themselves, value quality or customer service over just price and will look beyond only the practical. One in four of those equipped with smart phones plans to use them to comparison shop or buy.

Retail sales will remain tepid for the Christmas season 10/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 7:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]