STATESBORO — Consumers appear more optimistic this holiday shopping season, and most plan to spend the same amount of money on gifts as they did last year, according to a fall consumer confidence survey by Georgia Southern University’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development.
Highlights from the survey were:
• Shoppers to spend $970 for all gifts
• $113 spent per family member on gifts
• Shoppers to buy gifts for 9.8 people
• 53 percent to spend same amount as last year
• 25 percent plan to spend less than last year
“I think as people get ready to start their holiday shopping, we see a little bit more positive picture than we have in years past,” said Ben McKay, bureau research associate. “I think that consumers are, if not more optimistic, they are more adjusted to the current conditions.”
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the state’s unemployment rate for October was 8.7 percent. With the jobless rate down from 9.7 percent in October 2011, optimism appears to be growing.
“As you look at the Georgia economy, we are beginning to see a little bit more of an uptick in job growth,” McKay said. “I think that people are starting to feel a little bit more of the momentum. They are starting to feel a lot better as they see their friends and neighbors go back to work. That makes them feel better and gets them to start thinking about opening their wallets a little bit more this time of the year.”
The survey data were collected with the help of Dr. Dora Schmit and her GSU marketing research classes.