Yonkers, N.Y. – Despite a burst of holiday spending in November, retail
sales may likely wane over the remaining days before Christmas, a Consumer
Reports survey suggests.
According to the consumer
advocacy organization, increased stress, slipping confidence and a growing
reluctance to spend could put a crimp in December sales.
Planned December purchases are down slightly following gains in
November, the survey showed, led down by fewer planned purchases of personal
electronics year over year.
By comparison, planned purchases of home electronics were up
nearly 12 percent in November year over year, and planned purchases of major
appliances were up 19 percent.
“Despite all the talk and
media attention about positive economic growth, consumers are telling us that
they are not seeing or, more importantly, not feeling the difference,” said Ed
Farrell, a director of the Consumer Reports National Research Center. “The
consumer may not be confident enough to continue spending through the holiday
season. It may require deep discounting from retailers to get consumers back to
the store in the final weeks of December.”
The survey showed that consumers face increased financial
difficulties in December, such as missed mortgage payments, job loss or loss of
health-care coverage, following five straight months of improvement.