Consumers expect to spend an average of $967.13 on holiday shopping this season, according to a survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s up from the $935.58 consumers said they would spend in 2016. The national survey found that shoppers are less concerned about the economy than they have been in the past. Only 27 percent reported that their spending would be affected compared to 32 percent last year.

“With employment and incomes increasing, consumers are more confident this year, and that is reflected in their buying plans for the holidays,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “All signs are that this will be a busy holiday season.”

Shoppers plan to spend these amounts in the three major categories: gifts ($608.06); foods, decor and cards ($218.08); and non-gift items ($140.99).

For the first year ever consumers named online as their most likely shopping destination with 59 percent saying they would purchase items online. Department stores will attract 57 percent of people, discount stores 54 percent, and grocery stores 46 percent.

Consumers expect to spend $110.18 on average this year on holiday-related food, which is about even with last year’s candy and food category. Food and beverage stores saw sales total $701,552 million in 2016, or about 17.6 percent of annual holiday spending, according to NRF’s sales tracking.

“Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season,” said Shay.

Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year — one day more than last year.

Total retail sales in November and December this year are expected to be up as much as 4 percent for a total of about $682 billion in holiday spending.

Most consumers (94 percent) will take advantage of free shipping, pick-up in store (49 percent), and expedited shipping (19 percent). And twelve percent of shoppers also plan to take advantage of same-day delivery — but hopefully this doesn’t include last minute shoppers ordering on December 24!





Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.