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Will the Grinch Steal Christmas? No Pickup Seen in Holiday Shopping

Bah, humbug. It could be a gloomy holiday selling season for the nation's retailers, as Americans say they'll spend the same amount on gifts this year as they did last year, a new survey shows.

Americans forecast they'll spend $712 on Christmas gifts this year, essentially unchanged from the $715 they said they would spend on Christmas at this time last year, according to a Gallup poll.

"U.S. holiday retail spending rebounded somewhat in 2010 after three years of highly anemic sales," Gallup said in a press release. "Thus, if consumers' 2011 Christmas spending intentions remain at 2010 levels, 2011 holiday retail spending could be flat, although at a modestly improved level over 2008 to 2009."

See the historical chart, courtesy of Gallup, below:

Consumer spending showed significant year-over-year growth during the summer, Gallup notes, but Americans' economic confidence has since slumped to levels last seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.

"Whether that will translate into restrained holiday spending remains to be seen, but Gallup Daily tracking already detects some belt-tightening in Americans' routine discretionary spending," Gallup said.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, CC 3.0.

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