Coats are hardly back on in much of the United States, but thoughts are already turned to what kind of holiday shopping season this will be. According to a poll conducted exclusively for Reuters, about 27% of U.S. shoppers surveyed said they will be spending less this year, with a little more than half planning to spend the same and only about 18% planning to spend more.
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According to the findings by America’s Research Group, the biggest problem is that Americans think the economy will get worse before it gets better.
Job cuts are one of the things on shoppers’ worry list and here’s more to worry about. Bank of America announced plans to slash 30,000 jobs and reduce costs by $5 billion by 2014. America’s largest bank is struggling with its ill-fated acquisition of Countrywide Financial, made at the height of the financial crisis.
It was a volatile day for the stock market on Monday. Wall Street followed European shares lower at first, but changed course after the Financial Times reported Italy asked China for “significant” purchases of Italian debt. Major U.S. markets bounced back late in the session after being down by at least 1%.
In Europe, tensions flared in Italy as lawmakers prepare to approve government spending restraints. That follows up a scuffle over the weekend in Greece over austerity cuts. Growing worries of a possible Greek default sent European shares tumbling to a two-year low.
Bottom line: About a quarter of American shoppers expect to spend less this holiday season, according to a poll conducted exclusively for Reuters. Bank of America puts 30,000 jobs on chopping block. And U.S. stocks close up after speculation of Italian-Chinese debt deal, but Euro stocks tumble.