Purdue expert: Holiday spending to climb 4 percent

Credit Cards
FILE - This Nov. 18, 2009 file photo shows credit and bank cards with electronic chips.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A Purdue University retail expert says he expects holiday spending this year to rise about 4 percent over 2013.

Purdue professor of retail management Richard Feinberg says that’s higher rate of growth than seen last year. He says 2013 holiday spending increased 2.8 percent over a year earlier.

Feinberg predicts total holiday spending will be close to $986 billion. Surveys show that shoppers are likely to spend an average of $650 to $725 on gifts.

However, he warns that geopolitical crises and public health concerns could lower consumer confidence and increase cautiousness about spending if those stories remain in the news.

Feinberg says that while sales are likely to increase, so are the number of retailers and Internet sites available to consumers. That will dilute sales growth for many retailers.

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