Two-thirds of Americans to be affected by economy this holiday season

A majority of Americans will be affected by the economy this holiday season, causing many to resort to debt consolidation Supporting the many studies that have indicated the 2009 holiday season will see consumers who stress consolidation and frugality over frivolous spending, a new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) has found that two-thirds of American families will be affected by the current economic situation

According to the survey, which was conducted for the NRF by BIGresearch, 65.3 percent of respondents said that the economy would be affecting their holiday plans this season in some way. Of those, 84.2 percent said that they were planning on spending less money, while 55 percent said that they would be more wary for sales and 41.7 percent said they would increase their usage of coupons.

Additionally, there were a larger percentage of respondents (70.1 percent) who said they would consolidate debt by shopping at discount stores this holiday season than by shopping on the internet (42.4 percent), at clothing stores (33.8 percent), or electronics stores (31.8 percent).

"While last holiday season was filled with chaotic confusion, adjusting to uncertainty has now become routine for many Americans," said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. "This holiday season will be a bit of a dance between retailers and shoppers, with each group feeling the other out to understand how things have changed and how they must adapt."

In a previous survey, the NRF predicted that overall holiday sales would total $437.6 billion, a 1 percent drop from 2008 figures.