WASHINGTON DC: American consumers plan to spend an average $862 on Christmas gifts this year, or $110 more than they said they planned to spend this time last year, according to a new survey.

Based on a poll of more than 1,000 adults carried out in the first week of November, research firm Gallup revealed that consumers have not signalled such a high estimate of their holiday spending since November 2007 – just before the financial crash.

Although Gallup said the $110 increase compared with 2016 cannot be converted directly into a precise retail spending forecast, it said its modelling shows that big year-on-year increases are usually associated with strong holiday sales.

That means holiday spending growth in 2017 could exceed the estimated 3.6% growth that the National Retail Federation said took place in 2016.

In addition, the $862 average spend rises further to an average $947 once the 9% of consumers who won’t be spending anything are excluded from the total.

Lydia Saad, Senior Editor at Gallup, confirmed that Americans intend to spend more this holiday season than they have in a decade, although she cautioned that economic and political events over the next few weeks could influence matters.

“Whether consumers wind up splurging or just being a bit more generous in their outlays than usual could be influenced by how the stock market and other US economic indicators perform in the coming weeks, as well as any action on Capitol Hill perceived as affecting the middle class,” she wrote.

“For now, however, consumers are in a spending mood, meaning that getting them into stores early could be critical to retailers' efforts to score big this holiday season.”

Gallup also reported that 34% of US consumers plan to spend $1,000 or more on Christmas gifts this year, 22% say they will spend between $500 and $999, 15% will spend between $250 and $499, and 18% will spend less than $250.

Meanwhile, Americans living in households earning $75,000 or more a year plan to spend an average of $1,327 on Christmas gifts, falling to $739 among those earning between $30,000 and $74,999, and to $343 among those earning less than $30,000.

Sourced from Gallup; additional content by WARC staff