CUNA Expects Holiday Spending ToRise

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WASHINGTON - (11/23/04) -- Increasing consumer confidence isexpected to result in greater holiday spending this season, eventhough many consumers intend to spend less, according to the annualspending survey issued Monday by CUNA and the Consumer Federationof America. "Over the five years we've been doing these surveys,our results reveal that holiday spending is an area where consumersstart out with the best of intentions, but end up exceeding theirbudgets," said Bill Hampel, chief economist for CUNA.. "Consumerson balance have told us they intend to reduce spending compared tothe previous year, but actual holiday spending subsequently rose.This year consumers are feeling a bit less restrained than lastyear, so spending should rise modestly." The survey found that 32%of consumers plan to spend less than they did last year, while 17%plan to spend more. Half of respondents said they pan to spendabout the same.

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