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Last Minute Shoppers, Holiday travel

Last Minute Shoppers


A new survey by Visa shows that 73% of consumers still haven’t finished shopping for Christmas gifts. These last-minute shoppers will spend an average of $304 in the final days leading up to Christmas. Based on 1,007 telephone interviews conducted nationally between December 14-16, the survey finds that 16% of consumers have yet to purchase a single gift and plan to do all of their shopping at the last-minute. At this point in 2011, with one final Saturday left before Christmas, 77% of consumers have yet to finish their shopping, planning to spend $278, while the number of professional procrastinators who hadn’t even started shopping stood at 13%. the survey found regional, income and gender disparities among those who still had some Christmas shopping to complete:


  • 69% of Southerners still have gifts to buy and will spend $329.

  • 69% of Midwesterners still have gifts to buy and will spend $239.

  • 78% of Northeasterners still have gifts to buy and will spend $271.

  • 79% of Westerners still have gifts to buy and will spend $352.

  • 74% of women nationally still have gifts to buy and will spend $218.

  • 72% of men nationally still have gifts to buy and will spend $399.

  • 71% of people with household income under $20,000 still have gifts to buy and will spend $170.

  • 74% of people with household income between $20,000 and $49,999 still have gifts to buy and will spend $208.

  • 78% of people with household incomes over $50,000 still have gifts to buy and will spend $401.

Christmas, New Year’s Travel Busiest In 6 Years


The economy may just be turning the corner. This Christmas travel season could be the busiest in six years, with AAA predicting that 93.3 million Americans will hit the road. That’s 1.6% more than last year and just 400,000 people shy of the 2006 record. More cars will crowd the highways than ever before, largely because finding a seat on a plane at a desirable price has gotten more difficult. AAA says a record 84.4 million people will drive at least 50 miles between December 22nd and January 1st. That’s 90.5% of holiday travelers, up from 89.3% six years ago. The price of gas could be close to the average of $3.23 a gallon that drivers paid last Christmas Day. The price has dropped about 50 cents since September. AAA estimates the average price will range between $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by New Year’s Day. Other highlights from AAA’s 2012/13 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast:

  • Holiday air travel is expected to increase 4.5% to 5.6 million travelers from 5.4 million in 2011.
  • Median spending is expected to increase almost 6% to $759, compared to $718 in 2011, with transportation costs consuming about 29 cents of every travel dollar.
  • Average distance traveled to increase to 760 miles round-trip from 726 miles in 2011.
  • The average distance traveled by Americans during the holiday period is expected to be 760 miles, 34 miles more than last year.
  • Top activities are dining and spending time with loved ones.

Guess What? Mayan Expert Says December 21st Not Doomsday


WHAT A SHOCK! A Chicago expert on the ancient Mayans said the belief that the world will end December 21st of this year is based on a misunderstanding of the calendar. Gary Feinman, curator of Mesoamerican anthropology with Chicago’s Field Museum, said tomorrow will mark the end of a 1,872,000-day cycle for the Mayan calendar, but there’s no reason to expect the world to come to an end. “There’s really no basis for thinking we have to be worried about what will happen,” Feinman said. “There’s no Maya prophesy of doom. There’s no idea the world will come to an end that we can find in studies of the Maya.” Feinman said the ancient Mayans also wrote down dates for events taking place after the calendar rolls over December 21st. Guess that means more killings, pollution, climate change, murder and mayhem will continue.

12/20/2012 6:54AM
Last Minute Shoppers, Holiday travel
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