Americans' daily spending rose slightly to $76 in December in the highest monthly average of last year, though analysts suspect that consumers offset holiday purchases by cutting back on routine costs, according to a Gallup poll.
Consumers spent more during the holiday month than they did in November, when they shelled out $71 a day, according to the survey. But it’s not much of a change compared with December 2010, when daily costs ran about $75.
And Gallup experts believe that last month’s spending boost came at the expense of normal spending on groceries, gas, clothing and dining out. Retailers reported holiday sales that were up 3.3% compared with 2010.
The year-long average for daily spending last year was $67, up a few dollars from 2010 and 2009 but still far below the $96 daily amount recorded for 2008.