The upcoming United States presidential election is so tumultuous that it’s influencing shoppers to pull back holiday shopping plans.
With the election falling in the middle of holiday shopping, many U.S. consumers said they will have a more conservative holiday spending budget this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, a report that tapped 7,733 consumers about holiday shopping plans.
Specifically, more than a quarter of consumers say the election will impact their spending plans for the holidays. In addition, 43 percent say they are being more cautious with their spending due to the uncertainty of the election season, according to a separate flash poll conducted the week of Oct. 17, 2016.
However, when push comes to shove, 87% of consumers could be convinced to spend an extra $25 this holiday season if tempted by a good sale or promotion, the perfect gift for themselves or others or free ship-ping, the poll revealed.
“Everywhere you turn — whether you’re picking up a newspaper or watching television — political advertisements are taking up ad space that retailers typically use to get holiday shopping on the minds of consumers across the country,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Once the election has passed, we anticipate consumers will pull themselves out of the election doldrums and into the holiday spirit.”
Overall, consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday shopping season, an amount that will cover gifts for others, self-spending, food, flowers, decorations and greeting cards for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Total planned spending this year is second only to the record total spending in 2015, at $952.58, according to NRF’s annual consumer spending survey.