MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesotans more optimistic about their financial situation are expected to spend big this holiday shopping season.
A yearly study by the University of St. Thomas says the average household in the Twin Cities will spend $773 on gifts this year. That's up almost 10 percent from last year.
The excitement comes amid gloomy economic news.
"If you look at the news, there are things out there that are still quite negative," said Dr. Lorman Lundsten of the University of St. Thomas. "You know we have the fiscal cliff and the Greek economy and so forth, but Twin Cities shoppers are not looking at that."
Lundsten says part of the boost is because people are less worried about losing their jobs than they have been in years past.
Another take-away from the survey might be a surprise. You don't have to go farther than your nearest ATM to get your hands on the number one gift this year – cash.
The next two hot gifts on the list are clothing and gift cards, which took a slight dip in popularity this year.
Shopping malls remain the most popular place to spend, but other venues are gaining ground. Thirty percent of people say they'll shop online, and the other 20 percent say they'll be heading to stores that aren't in malls.
"The survey also asked which mall Twin Cities shoppers planned to do most of their holiday buying," Lundsten said. "Mall of America came out on top. This is only the second time, this mall has come out on top. Usually, the most visited mall is Rosedale Mall."
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