The Corner

Americans’ Initial Christmas Spending Intentions Look Merry

I’m happy to admit that though it’s only October I’m already looking forward to Christmas. And the good folks at Gallup are asking about it as a way to better understand our economy’s recovery.

Americans’ initial estimates of the total amount they will spend on Christmas gifts this year point to an above-average holiday season for the nation’s retailers. While Gallup’s October spending forecast is a warm-up to its key measure in November, it finds Americans expecting to spend $781, on average, up from $704 last November.


Underscoring this relatively upbeat preliminary forecast for retailers is that Americans’ comparison of their projected holiday spending this year to what they spent last year is slightly more positive today than in November 2013. In fact, it is one of the most positive assessments Americans have given about their holiday spending since 2007 — right before the U.S. sank into the last recession.

— Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar and economist at the American Enterprise Institute. You can follow him on Twitter at

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Joys of Heterogeneity

The temporary shutdown of parts of the federal government is a good argument for the permanent shutdown of parts of the federal government. When one of his colleagues voiced frustration with the slow pace of conservative reform in the 1990s, Newt Gingrich replied, “Rome wasn’t burned in a day.” That’s ... Read More

Referenda Delenda Est

"In my country the people can do as they like, although it often happens that they don't like what they have done."      -- Winston Churchill, 1946 London During the Second World War, as U.S. power was eclipsing Britain's, Harold Macmillan, a future prime minister, reportedly said, "These Americans ... Read More