Holiday sales season looks merry and bright

U.S. consumers, especially millennials, plan to spend more on gifts this year than last.

Wrapping up a solid year for consumer spending is a new forecast from Visa Business & Economic Insights that suggests U.S. holiday spending* will grow 4.1 percent (YoY) on all forms of payment. (The expected growth reflects an acceleration from the 2.3 percent gain in 2018.)

Consumers, in fact, report that they expect to spend $618 on average for gifts, up from $608 last year according to Visa and Prosper Analytics survey data.

Despite slowing growth in the job market, holiday spending tailwinds can be attributed to modest inflation and average hourly earnings rising 1.9 percent from last year. After-tax income growth is also up three percent over last year’s levels and fewer consumers are reporting that they expect income growth to slow.

Still, some factors could shift this confidence, including a government shutdown around the holidays and exacerbated trade tensions.


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