Stagnant Wages, Mounting Bills Weigh On Holiday Shoppers

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A new study finds consumers are heading into the holiday shopping season with high levels of anxiety about paying the bills they already owe. What does that mean for the retail sector?

The report from financial news service BankRate.com examined Americans’ top financial concerns. Greg McBride is BankRate’s senior financial analyst.

“The financial priorities that Americans have right now really reflect an environment where so many people just aren’t seeing wage growth. The most common priority cited by more than one-third of Americans, is that they’re just trying to stay current or get caught up on the bills.”

The number two concern, cited by a fifth of respondents, was paying down debt. McBride says that by itself shouldn’t affect holiday spending much, as consumers tend to plan for major expenditures during the holiday season. Those that haven’t, he says, are likely to rein in spending all the more sharply after the first of the year.

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...