Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poll Watch: Holiday Spending Plans Plummet Signaling Dismal Retail Season

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Poll Watch: The Latest ABC News Polls

Holiday Spending Plans Plummet, Signaling Dismal Retail Season

Americans plan to cut back drastically on holiday spending this year, a dismal prospect for retailers in their most critical season.

Fifty-one percent in this ABC News poll say they'll spend less this year than last on holiday gifts, matching the sharpest consumer retreat in polls dating back 23 years -- last seen ahead of the dreadful Christmas retail performance just after the 1990-91 recession.

Confidence Drops to a 22-Year Low

Consumer confidence dropped this week to it lowest in 22 years of weekly polls by ABC News, hammered by the global economic crisis and threatening a grim holiday season for the nation's retailers.

ABC's Consumer Comfort Index stands at -52 on its scale of +100 to -100, down 4 points in two weeks to eclipse its previous low, -51 as gasoline prices soared last spring. It last approached these levels in the aftermath of the 1990-91 recession.

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