Americans Cutting Back On Holiday Spending

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2009 file photo, a sidewalk sign advertises a holiday sale on Newbury Street in Boston. Figures released Wednesday, Dec. 16 from research firm ShopperTrak, which tracks retail sales at more than 50,000 outlets, showed holiday sales rose 1.1 percent for the week ended Saturday compared with last year, as consumers are spending more after a post-Thanksgiving lull. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
With the unemployment rate at 10% and three in four Americans calling the condition of the economy bad, 55% plan to spend less money on gifts this season, according to a recent CBS News/New York Times Poll.

While this number is similar to last year, it the highest number since CBS News began asking the question in 1987. Only 5% will spend more money compared to the last few years.

Those earning less will be spending less. And nearly eight in 10 of those who find themselves in a bad situation financially will be cutting back on gifts this holiday season. A similar number of unemployed Americans (83%) will be also be spending less.

In addition, 65% of women say they will be cutting back on spending this year, compared to 45% of men. Those ages 45 to 64 are the most likely of any age group to say they will be spending less money this holiday season.

Current economic conditions are not just affecting spending habits this year. According to a recent CNN/Opinion Corporation Research poll, 40% of Americans say the economy will make this holiday season more stressful for them than in previous years.


By Jennifer DePinto: