Holiday sales are expected to grow by just 5 percent this year, down from the 6.7 percent growth recorded in 2004, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
And a recent survey of about 8,000 consumers conducted by BIGResearch found that 34.7 percent of respondents plan to spend less on gifts this holiday than they did in 2004. The study also found that 60.2 percent of respondents said they’re driving less. Indeed, high energy costs are one of the main factors behind the expected slowdown in holiday spending this year, according to NRF officials. In this age of high petroleum prices, consumers may be more reluctant to fill up their gas tanks to go shopping.