Holiday Spending to Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels: Deloitte

Shoppers are increasing their holiday budgets across income levels, but for those starting to repay student loans nearly half may cut back on spending.


Dive Brief:

  • As holiday retail sales are expected to increase, holiday shopping budgets are expected to grow 14% from last year to $1,652 on average, according to Deloitte’s 2023 Holiday Retail Survey of 4,318 U.S. consumers. This year’s holiday spending is predicted to surpass pre-pandemic levels.
  • Seventy-two percent of shoppers expect higher prices and will account for inflation by buying fewer gifts, spending more on gift cards and seeking markdowns. Shoppers plan to spend $300 on gift cards this year, up from $217 last year, per the report.
  • Seventeen percent of respondents said they have student loans to repay this fall. For those starting to repay student loans, nearly half are cutting back on holiday expenditures (48%), cutting back their non-holiday spending (37%) and curbing their travel expenses (28%), according to the report.

Dive Insight:

Deloitte’s survey suggests that consumers across income levels plan to spend more on gifts this holiday season despite ongoing inflation concerns, but some groups will see higher spending growth than others.

Deloitte’s survey adds to previous research indicating that consumers’ holiday budgets would remain the same or increase. A Shopify and Gallup poll released this month found that 74% of shoppers plan to spend the same or more on gifts this holiday season.

The increase in consumers’ holiday budgets could result in higher retail sales this holiday season. In September, Deloitte released another report predicting that retail sales will increase between 3.5% and 4.6% from last year. The report noted that e-commerce sales could rise between 10.3% and 12.8% year-over-year.