Retail economists say consumer sentiment hard to predict this holiday season

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Consumer sentiment hard to predict this holiday, economists say
Retailers are bracing to lose out on spending this holiday season as more people go on trips and search for experiences over shopping.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- It's the last shopping week before Christmas. That meant long lines to pay and to park. But with inflation adding to prices, many retail economists are unsure about how consumer sentiment will play out.

At Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, many shopper had their bags filled. But some say they are holding back this year.

"I definitely do feel like things have gone up, and everything feels more expensive," says Peyton Annoni, who is back from college and visiting her parents for the holidays.

MORE: Gift card trends this holiday season: Multi-store cards, bonus with purchase

"For next year, we never know what is going to happen. We don't know if we are going to have another pandemic or something, inflation, or another thing will come up. So, we are definitely saving," explains Sandra Radcliff, who lives in Albany.

Retail stocks tanked across the board on Thursday, after a worse than expected Nov. retail sales report was released.

Inflation may be on most people's mind, but the National Retail Federation still predicts holiday sales in Nov. and Dec. will increase 6 to 8% from last year.

MORE: Consumer Reports shares recommended deals for everyone on your gift list

The supply chains have generally stabilized. The labor market is strong. But economists says retailers are bracing to lose out on spending as more people go on trips, and search for experiences over shopping.

"I am saving for a car. So, this year, Christmas might be a little tight," says Adalyn Rivera, a Hayward resident.

Many retail economists seem unsure about how retail sales will play out. But one thing that many are sure about is that shoppers will hold out for a bargain.

"I love a good deal. I love a discount. And I love coupons!" says Fairfield resident John Robinson, Jr., with a laugh.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live