GSU releases holiday spending survey

Lindsay Gaskins

Georgia Southern University Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development a report revealing that 25 percent of consumers are planning to spend less during the holidays than they did last year.

The report, the Annual Consumer Confidence Survey, is taken every October.

“I think as people get ready to start their holiday shopping we see a little bit more positive picture than we have in years past,” Ben McKay, research associate with the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, said in the GSU news release.

Since October of last year, the unemployment rate in Georgia has declined from 9.7 percent to 8.7 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

“I think that people are starting to feel a little bit more of the momentum. They are starting to feel a lot better as they see their friends and neighbors go back to work.  That makes them feel better and gets them to start thinking about opening their wallets a little bit more this time of the year,” McKay said.

“I think that consumers are, if not more optimistic, they are more adjusted to the current conditions,” McKay said.

The following were general findings of the 2012 Consumer Confidence Survey:

  • 53 percent of participants plan to spend about the same amount of money on holiday gifts as they did last year.
  • Participants plan to shop for most of their holiday gifts between late November and mid-December.
  • Participants’ views of the U.S. and Georgia economy do differ and are positively related to financial status.
  • A majority of participants feel that general business conditions and job availability will improve by this time next year.

The following were consumer’s opinions on where they see the economy standing a year from now:

  • 56 percent of participants see general business conditions being better in Georgia one year from now.
  • 51 percent of respondents see more jobs being available in Georgia one year from now.
  • 58 percent of participants see their family income as being about the same one year from now.

Students are already preparing for this year’s holiday shopping by saving money and spending wisely.

“I’m selling my prom dresses to make sure I have enough money,” Brianna Gossett, freshman nursing major said.

“(I probably won’t spend) so much on my family because they’re appreciative of my gifts no matter what because I’m a college student,” Gossett said.

“I’m definitely spending more this year because I have a job, and I got graduation money,” Daisja Dukes, senior psychology major, said.

The economy has made an impact on how much people are spending, Dukes said.

“You can’t just splurge shop, you have to look for the sales, and you can’t just buy everything at once,” Dukes said.

“You can’t buy as much anymore, you have to save,” Megan Sunseri, freshman early childhood education, said.

The survey process began on Oct. 22 and ended on Oct. 26. The final night of data collection for this survey was Oct. 29 and Dr. Dora Schmit’s marketing research class made the calls, according to the survey overview released Nov. 17.

Lauren Gorla contributed to this report.