LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Retail sales for the upcoming holiday season don’t look as promising as last year.
Holiday shopping is already on the minds of retail businesses and shoppers. The holiday season for retail businesses begins this month and lasts through January.
Last year, $590 billion was spent nationwide during the holidays. Purdue Retail Management Professor, Richard Feinberg, said this year's holiday retail sales don't look as strong as 2012’s holiday season.
“I’m predicting that retail sales (will be) very flat or even down from last year,” said Feinberg.
Feinberg said there are many factors leading to less money for this holiday season. The most important factor includes the social security tax reduction.
"The basic reason is unemployment is still high. Underemployment, when added to that, is still high, but the most important reason is during last year at holiday season, families had on average an extra $1,000 to spend," said Feinberg.
Feinberg said with the government shutdown and what he called "economic uncertainty,"consumers are less likely to spend money.
"If consumers are not confident, even if they have money, they are just not going to spend it. Particularly since we depend on consumers to spend more money than they have, to go into a little more debt over the holiday season, then uncertainty knocks it completely flat," said Feinberg.
Feinberg said there are two positives for this holiday season, including an increase in online shopping and better bargains throughout the entire season. However, he is not entirely optimistic.
"So, at the very top end, if I was overly optimistic, I would say we were going to have a two percent increase in holiday spending this year over last year, but I don't even see that. I just don't see it," said Feinberg.
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