Thursday, February 2, 2023

Poll: Americans hard-pressed to pay for gifts

A poll shows that more than half of Americans say they’ve had difficulty buying holiday gifts this year.

According to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey, 69% said they have seen higher prices for gifts in recent months, compared with 58% last year.

And 57% say they found it more difficult to pay for the gifts they wanted to give, a sharp increase from 40% last year. Most people who have difficulty paying for gifts say they are giving less this year.

According to an Associated Press-NORC survey, nearly two-thirds of American households say paying for holiday gifts and food this year has been difficult. Some 60% of those earning between $50,000 and $99,999 say they had a tough time, and half of those earning more said the same.

Some 95% of those surveyed say they have seen a price rise in supermarkets in recent months, compared with 85% in the same period last year. The US government estimates that food prices have increased between 9.5% and 10.5% this year; Historically this growth has been only 2%.

83% of those surveyed say gasoline prices have increased, roughly the same percentage as a year ago. 74% reported higher electricity bills as compared to 57% a year ago.

As a result, many people may be on the lookout for sales this year, and stores will likely try to respond. According to Salesforce, the average price cut on Thanksgiving this year was 31%, compared to 27% last year.

Overall, holiday sales are expected to grow at a slower rate this year than last year. The National Retail Federation projects that holiday sales will increase 6% to 8% this year, compared to 13.5% in 2021.

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The Associated Press-NORC survey of 1,124 adults was conducted December 1-5 using the AmeriSpeak sample, which was designed to represent the entire US population. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

Nation World News Desk
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