Holiday spending plans stronger compared to October: Gallup
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Americans plan to spend more on Christmas gifts than they thought they would in October, according to a Gallup survey released Wednesday.

Respondents plan to spend $852 on average on gifts, according to the survey, compared to $846 in 2019. In October, Americans expected to spend $805. The average amount increased to $940 when those who expected to spend $0 were excluded.

Since 2000, holiday sales have typically increased at an average of 3.3 percent year over year, although the increase was as high as 5 percent in 2004 and 2005 and as low as 2 percent in 2008 and 2009, the year the financial crisis hit.

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Gallup’s research also found 32 percent of respondents expect to spend at least $1,000 on gifts, compared to 21 percent who intend to spend between $500 and $999, 29 percent who expect to spend between $100 and $499 and 2 percent who project they will spend under $100.

Despite the financial shock and spike in unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, these percentages are nearly identical to 2019, according to Gallup.

Although a majority of those surveyed, 57 percent, expect to spend about the same on gifts as they did the year before, 28 percent say they will spend less, compared to 15 percent who project they will spend more.

The projected spending data comes after the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 30,000 for the first time on Tuesday, and the S&P 500 closed at a record high as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE and his team have formally begun the transition process with the Trump administration. 

Though unemployment is historically high, federal stimulus and relief measures have helped the stock market recover. 

The news also comes as three pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer and Moderna have reported viable coronavirus vaccine candidates. United States health officials have predicted that a vaccine will be available for distribution within the first two weeks of December. 

Pollsters surveyed 1,018 adults between Nov. 5-19. The survey has a 4-point margin of error.