Despite Major Inflation Concerns American Consumers Are Regaining Holiday Cheer

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Washington, D.C. — November 15, 2021: After Consumers’ Research 2020 Holiday Shopping Survey saw merriment take a major plummet, this year’s survey shows that the holiday spirit is making a comeback. But will consumers be merry when they realize they’re spending more to get less?

Even before startling new inflation numbers were released on Nov. 10, Consumers’ Research 2021 Holiday Shopping Survey revealed that rising inflation and the dysfunctional supply chain system are top-of-mind concerns. An overwhelming 67% responded “yes” when asked, “Are you concerned that inflation or supply chain issues will prevent you from being able to purchase the gifts you want to give this holiday season?”

“After a year of being told how and with whom they could celebrate, consumers are seeking normalcy and they’re not allowing the pandemic to ruin another holiday season,” said Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research. “Of course, Washington isn’t making things easy. We expect consumers to spend a lot of money this holiday season, but unfortunately, due to the rising inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, spending more won’t necessarily mean getting more.”

Even with costs rising and the value of their paychecks falling, the survey showed that many have regained the holiday cheer they had lost at the height of the pandemic last year. This year 55% of respondents said that they expected the season to be “very merry,” a far cry from the dark and gloomy outlook in 2020, when only 38% of American shoppers expected their holiday to be merry.

The opportunity to spend holidays with family again could be responsible for the resurging cheerfulness. After all, consumers identified “quality time with loved ones” as the most desirable gift, with 59% putting it at the top of their wish list.

“Our wish this holiday season is for companies to finally start putting consumers first,” said Hild. “But when you look at how companies like Coca-Cola, American Airlines, and Nike have repeatedly deceived their customers, it would likely take a true holiday miracle for that to happen.”

Consumers’ Research holiday survey results are also available online for 2014, 20152016201720182019 and 2020.

About Consumers’ Research:

Consumers’ Research, founded in 1929, is the nation’s oldest consumer organization that seeks to increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers. For more information visit:

About the Survey:

The survey was conducted from November 4-7, 2021 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel. AmeriSpeak® is NORC’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population, which sets it apart from traditional “opt-in” or “convenience” panels. Interviews of approximately 1,000 U.S. adults (18+) were conducted both online and by telephone. The margin of error on weighted data is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.

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