Harris Poll: 59% of shoppers won't change holiday spending even with possible government shutdown on horizon

NEW YORK — According to a Harris Poll released Tuesday, 70% of Americans believe it is likely that the government will shut down again in January, while just 21% believe it is unlikely to shut down. Republicans are more likely than both Democrats and Independents to say it is likely there will be a shutdown in January (79% versus 64% and 67%, respectively).

One concern is that all the uncertainty in Washington, D.C. may have some people rethinking holiday spending and other things. As many as 59% agree that regardless of what happens in the nation's capital, their spending habits will not change much over the next few months. But, one-third (34%) say their spending habits will change. More specifically, just over half of U.S. adults (53%) agree that because of the uncertainty with the federal government they will probably spend less on holiday presents this year and 45% say they will be less likely to do any year end charitable giving because of the potential government shutdown in January.

As many as 25% of U.S. adults believe the economy will improve in the coming year, while 44% say it will stay the same and 32% say it will get worse. Last month, as the nation was coming out of the government shutdown, 22% believed the economy would improve, 37% said it would stay the same and 41% believed it would get worse.

Looking at individual households, half of Americans believe their household's financial condition will stay the same over the next six months, while 20% say it will get better and 30% believe it will be worse. Last month, while about half (48%) said it would stay the same, over one-third (34%) said their household finances would get worse and 18% believed it would be better in the next six months. 


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