CEA: 60 Percent of Adults Will Shop This Weekend, Spending An Average $218

4:25 PM PST 11/20/2012 by Carolyn Giardina

The Consumer Electronics Association’s Pre-Black Friday Survey also found half of consumers say the impending "fiscal cliff" would impact their spending.

The average U.S. adult plans to spend $218 between Thursday and Monday, up from $159 in 2011, according to the Consumer Electronics Association’s Pre-Black Friday Survey.

Still, 51 percent of those surveyed said the risk of the “fiscal cliff” would negatively impact their overall spending, as well as the amount of money they spend on gifts. Eighteen percent of respondents said this was going to have a large impact on their overall spending this holiday. 

CEA’s survey suggests that 60 percent of U.S. adults plan to shop Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, with Black Friday expected to be the busiest shopping day of the weekend. Overall, 37 percent of U.S. adults plan to shop this Friday, with 33 percent going to a retail store and 20 percent shopping online.

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Fifty-seven percent of shoppers will purchase at least one gift this weekend, with tablets and smartphones expected to be the most wanted items, according to CEA. Consumers plan to spend an average of $842 on all gifts this year, according to CEA’s 19th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study.

“The 2012 Thanksgiving weekend has the potential to be the biggest shopping weekend on record,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research. “A full 66 percent of shoppers haven’t completed any of their holiday shopping, but on average, by the end of the weekend, consumers expect to have completed some 30 percent of their holiday shopping.”

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