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

150 more to be tested

Newnan High student believed to have TB

A Newnan High School student may have tuberculosis, as a suspected case of the illness was confirmed Wednesday by District 4 Public Health. ... Read More


Rape Trial Continues

Sleep expert, wife testify

Sleep disorders – and whether a person can engage in sexual activity while sleepwalking – were the focus of testimony Wednesday ... Read More


Vigil raises awareness of domestic violence

On Tuesday, the second annual domestic candlelight vigil was held outside the historic courthouse in downtown Newnan. With more than 50 peop ... Read More


Bridge work to close lanes on I-85 North

One outside lane on Interstate 85 northbound at Posey Road has been closed for rehab work on the bridge across the Transco natural gas pipel ... Read More


The Cellar reopens on Jefferson Street

One of Newnan’s fine dining restaurants, The Cellar, re-opened Saturday after it moved to a more visible location downtown. In fact, o ... Read More

With restrictions, Jackson Street open

Traffic was being rerouted on Jackson Street around the University of West Georgia project in downtown Newnan earlier this week, but is now ... Read More