Lower-income households may have to decide between paying for food and buying gifts this holiday season
- Nearly 12% of US consumers don't plan to shop this holiday season, a Deloitte survey found.
- Most of them are lower-income households who cited the rising cost of food as a main concern.
Rising prices could mean some families won't be able to afford holiday gifts this year.
The percentage of consumers who don't plan to shop this holiday season is spiking at the same time that prices continue to rise, according to Deloitte's 2021 holiday
The survey found that 11.5% of consumers don't plan to spend this year, versus 4.9% in 2020, 2.9% in 2019, and 4.2% in 2018. The majority of the shoppers who say they won't buy holiday gifts — 65% — make $50,000 or less per year, Deloitte found.
Half of the consumers who plan to sit out the
The picture looks different for higher-income households. Deloitte estimates that Americans will spend $1,463 on average this holiday season, up 5% from last year, with higher earners driving the majority of that spending. Still, regardless of income, consumers are bracing for an expensive shopping season: Nearly 70% of shoppers are anticipating higher prices throughout the holidays, Deloitte found.
The US economy is experiencing a period of
At the same time, corporations are using inflation as an excuse to keep prices high, a practice that results in higher profits for corporations and fewer discounts and deals for consumers, Insider's Dominick Reuter and Andy Kiersz reported.
The holidays may just cost more this year
The combination of inflation and ongoing
Traveling for the holidays is expected to cost more than usual, regardless of how you do it: Rental car prices are still high, and so are jet fuel prices, which means airline tickets could be pricier too.
Gifts will also probably cost more. New and used cars are significantly more expensive this year due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage; electronics like game consoles and TVs are suffering a similar fate; and toy companies are warning that shelves could be more bare than usual thanks to shipping snafus. If toy-makers are able to get their products shipped, they're paying premiums that may lead to higher prices for shoppers.
And rising food costs means higher prices for popular holidays meals like turkey. Plus, meat suppliers are warning small turkeys will be in short supply because the pandemic made smaller gatherings the norm.
Even decor isn't safe. Live Christmas trees could be pricier and harder to find due to a combination of climate change, soaring demand during the pandemic, and the late-stage impacts of the 2008 Recession that led to a tighter supply of trees. Growers have reported having to raise their prices as a result — in fact, the average price of a tree more than doubled since 2008, according to data from the National Christmas Tree Association.
Artificial tree prices are expected to skyrocket as well due to the ongoing
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