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Survey: Shoppers plan to spend the same
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STATESBORO — Consumers appear more optimistic this holiday shopping season, and most plan to spend the same amount of money on gifts as they did last year, according to a fall consumer confidence survey by Georgia Southern University’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development.

Survey highlights were:

• Shoppers to spend $970 for all gifts.

•$113 spent per family member on gifts.

•Shoppers to buy gifts for 9.8 people.

•53 percent to spend same amount as last year.

• 25 percent plan to spend less than last year.

“I think as people get ready to start their holiday shopping, we see a little bit more positive picture than we have in years past,” said Ben McKay, bureau research associate. “I think that consumers are, if not more optimistic, they are more adjusted to the current conditions.”

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the state’s unemployment rate for October was 8.7 percent.  With the jobless rate down from 9.7 percent in October 2011, optimism appears to be growing.

“As you look at the Georgia economy, we are beginning to see a little bit more of an uptick in job growth,” McKay said.

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