Poll: Holiday spending to remain flat

ALBANY -- Most New Yorkers do not anticipate spending more this holiday season than last year, according to a poll released Wednesday.

New Yorkers are in the holiday spirit, the poll found: 32 percent said they believe in Santa.

The Siena College Research Institute found that 57 percent of state residents plan to spend the same amount on holiday gifts as last year, while 31 percent plan to spend less and 9 percent expect to spend more.

Roughly 51 percent plan to keep their spending under $500; 24 percent have allowed for spending $1,000 or more; and 25 percent expected to spend between $500 and $1,000 during the holiday season.

“With most New Yorkers saying that their finances are about the same as a year ago, it’s not surprising that a majority hopes to keep holiday spending about the same,” Don Levy, the poll's director, said in a statement.

About 80 percent of consumers in New York said they plan to pay their holiday bills up front rather than on lay-away or payment plans.

Also, 66 percent of New Yorkers said they will do some online holiday shopping, the poll said.

Levy noted that most New Yorkers surveyed plan to buy practical gifts, rather than splurge on more luxurious items.

“While we won’t be wrapping up coal, it is more likely we’ll see needs, rather than wants, under the tree,” he said.

To that point, about 75 percent of New Yorkers surveyed said they will donate to charitable organizations during the holidays, with 37 percent of people planning to spend some of their time volunteering.

Also, 51 percent of New Yorkers who responded that they typically say “Merry Christmas” during the holiday season, opposed to the 38 percent who generally say “Happy Holidays.”

Seventy-two percent of New Yorkers planned on putting up a Christmas tree, with only 39 percent having a real tree.
The 25-question poll surveyed 800 New York residents and was conducted between Nov. 7 and Nov. 21. It had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.


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