Survey: Modest spending increase in Georgia for holidays

By Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Georgians will be clutching their purses this holiday season, according to a new survey that shows 97 percent of shoppers plan to spend the same or less than last year.
The data comes from a questionnaire completed by 7,000 people who save or borrow from entities that belong to the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. Seventy percent plan to pay for their gifts with cash and 12 percent with credit cards, a slight decline from last year's 16 percent plastic users.
That leaves a large group that will borrow, according to Grace Lollar, president of Richmond Community Federal Credit Union in Gracewood, Ga.
"Wages have not risen for most of our membership, but the cost of living has gone up," she said. "Most of our members rely heavily on holiday loans to pay for their purchases."
A separate survey conducted by the National Retail Federation shows the average person nationally plans to spend $750 this holiday season, up ten bucks from last year for a 4.1 percent increase in overall sales. That compares to the Georgia survey where 58 percent say they'll spend less than $500.
That means the overall sales increase is being funded by just a few people, notes Michael Mercer, president of the Credit Union trade group.
"A lot of the global lift in holiday spending is really coming from a very small portion of the population," he said.
Bargain hunting will be the strategy for most people. They'll stick with discount stores, comparison shop with their smartphones as they cruise the aisles and rely to a greater extent on purchases they get online, according to the Retail Federation's data.
"More than half of Americans this holiday season will feel the impact of the economy and will compensate by doing what they've been doing for several years – looking for ways to cut any corners, comparative shop online and in stores more often, and even planning to travel less or not at all," said the national trade group's president, Matthew Shay.


More Local

Senoia extends ‘Walking Dead’ wall permit

The Senoia City Council voted unanimously Monday to extend the wall permit and road closures for filming of AMC network hit show “The ... Read More


Fatal wreck on Hwy. 29

A man lost his life Monday after his vehicle traveled off the road, overturned several times and collided with a number of trees. Around 10: ... Read More


Sheriff’s office on lookout for four robbery suspects

Coweta County authorities are on the lookout for four suspects who robbed a gas station convenience store by intimidation early Sunday. Arou ... Read More


Coweta behind state average in mental health resources

Editor’s note: This is part of a special focus this week on depression and suicide in Coweta County, in the wake of the death of actor ... Read More


State school superintendent candidates debate

The new Georgia Milestones Assessment, Common Core, and charter schools were topics at Tuesday’s debate between the Democratic and Rep ... Read More

Coweta steel wire plant being acquired by Insteel

Insteel Industries Inc. has announced the acquisition of one of their primary competitors with facilities in Coweta County. Insteel Wire Pro ... Read More