CNBC posted the video of one of their recent “Wealth In America” segments which discusses the results of their Holiday Shopping Plans survey as well as the results from their most recent “Pulse of the Economy and Consumers” survey.
The results were pretty much as I expected, although there were a couple of interestingly optimistic findings:
Over the last 3 months, the average planned spending has gone from $44 above to $34 below last year’s plans. The average Holiday spending plans in dollars for 2008 has decreased a total of $77 in the last 3 months, from $781 planned in Sept ‘08 to $704 planned in December ‘08. In Dec ‘07 the planned average was $738 which was higher than the Dec ‘06 average of $688.
As for the current state of the economy, 4% believe it is ‘good’, 25% believe it is ‘only fair’ and 70% believe it is ‘poor’. When asked to classify the current economic state, 8% believe we are in a ‘slowdown’, 29% believe we are in a ‘mild recession, 51% believe we are in a ‘serious recession’ and 8% believe we are in a ‘depression’. One of the interesting findings is that overall, Democrats are twice as optimistic about the economy improving than they were this past September.
At the end of the report, they offer the final analysis of their findings as “Spend Less, Worry More”. For me, I can agree with the spend less aspect but I am finding myself feeling fairly optimistic although I won’t be surprised if things get a bit worse before they start improving. I don’t find myself worrying too much right now, especially with gas prices at a 5-year low saving me more than 50% on my monthly expense compared to just a few months ago.