Iowans cautioned about racking up Christmas debt

OMAHA, Nebraska- Consumer confidence is high and Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss is predicting holiday spending will be up six-to-seven percent this year.  

He notes, however, high interest rates will be costly for those who load up a lot of debt.

Goss says flexible interest has the potential to strain household budgets in the months ahead, especially if the economy softens like Goss expects it will.

He says the extremely low unemployment rate (3.7 percent nationally) could spur more buying.   He says however the average American family does not necessarily have more money than last year, but more families have money this year.

Goss expects online shopping to increase by up to 15 percent from last year. 

He also notes Millennials are changing the holiday wish list ‒ Millennials are changing holiday buying trends due to the nature of their purchases. Rather than buying consumer products like new clothes and gadgets, they are spending money on experiences, like vacations or non-traditional goods. Goss says these types of purchases do not factor into retail spending, but they will provide a similar boost to spending on holiday travel this year.  

 Goss says the low unemployment rate has posed a problem for retailers trying to hire seasonal workers, and for consumers looking for help on the sales floor or waiting in lines at the register.

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