Holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022 to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.
Overall household finances remain in good shape and will continue to support the consumer’s ability to spend.
Despite a slower growth rate compared with the past three years, when trillions of dollars of stimulus led to unprecedented rates of retail spending during the pandemic, this year’s holiday spending is consistent with the average annual holiday increase of 3.6% from 2010 to 2019.
Online shopping has been one of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior from the COVID-19 pandemic. Online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, are expected to increase this year between 7% and 9%, with totals between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion. That figure is up from $255.8 billion last year.
Consumers remain in the driver’s seat and are resilient despite future inflation, higher gas prices, tight credit conditions, and elevated interest rates. Spending is expected to continue through the end of the year on a range of items and experiences, but at a slower pace. Solid job and wage growth will be contributing factors this holiday season, and consumers will be looking for deals and discounts to stretch their dollars.
To meet the demand of the holiday season, retailers are expected to hire between 345,000 and 450,000 seasonal workers nationally, in line with 391,000 seasonal hires in 2022. Some of this hiring may have been pulled into October to support retailers’ holiday buying events in October.