Cash-strapped consumers focusing limited cash on valuable gifts this holiday season

Because consumers are facing tighter spending budgets this holiday shopping season, many plan to spend what cash they do have toward fewer, more valuable gifts, suggests a new report from the National Retail Federation.

Because consumers are facing tighter spending budgets this holiday shopping season, many plan to spend what cash they do have toward fewer, more valuable gifts, suggests a new report from the National Retail Federation. Jewelers, clothing outlets and electronics distributors may want to ramp up their promotions in accordance with this information.

The number of Americans who plan to make purchases on discretionary gift categories is on the rise, with plans for home décor furnishings up from 16.5 percent in 2010 to 18.3 percent this year, and expectations of jewelry purchases are up 0.9 percentage points to reach 21.2 percent of respondents.

Also, nearly one-third of shoppers plan to buy major electronics products, such smartphones, tablets and computer accessories, compared to a mere 28.4 percent last year.

"Hoping to spread some holiday cheer, retailers are already offering promotions on everyday items that budget-conscious shoppers know their friends and family members can wear or use on a daily basis,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

The same NRF survey also found more than half of Americans have already begun their holiday shopping.