Poll: Spending up over holiday season

Noreen Hiltsley, marketing manager at Colonie Center, said "foot traffic" was up during Christmas week, with some days mirroring Black Friday, the notorious shopping day after Thanksgiving.

She said she does not have actual spending numbers for the stores at the mall, but said community events also helped lure shoppers and likely boosted sales.

Contrary to the actual numbers indicating spending was up, surveys about spending plans for the holiday season showed shoppers would be less willing to splurge this season.

"More people are spending fewer dollars," Levy said.

A Nov. 24 poll showed that 65 percent of the public only planned on spending $600 on all presents during the holidays.

The Nov. 24 poll showed that consumer spending plans did not change much from the same time in 2008 as in 2009, as both year's polls indicated that consumers were still gun-shy about spending, Levy said.

More New Yorkers reported plans to spend less in 2008, but a "large majority" indicated they want to both spend the same on each gift and buy the same amount of gifts.

"Three times as many New Yorkers say they are worse off financially this holiday season as compared to last," said Levy in a statement from the Nov. 24 poll. "But nearly half have found an economic equilibrium, and holding holiday spending constant is part of their enjoyment of the season. Spending more is out this season, but spending as we did last year is, according to consumers, the plan this holiday season."

As the New Year begins, New Yorkers polled said they expect more improvements to the economy, according to the Siena Research Institute.

A Dec. 21 poll indicated that most people are optimistic for 2010, as "a majority of New York residents believe the economy in general and their personal financial situation will get better over the next year."

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