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Americans Will Spend an Average of $418 on Black Friday and $373 on Cyber Monday - BMO Harris Bank

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Nov 13, 2014) -

  • Slightly more consumers plan to shop on Black Friday (55 per cent) vs Cyber Monday (48 per cent)
  • Personal gifts top the list, followed by buying for children, spouse/partners and pets
  • Holiday spending expected to be up moderately because of lower unemployment, stronger equity markets, lower gas prices

Four-out-of ten Americans plan to spend more around the busy Thanksgiving shopping period compared to last year, with an average of $418 on Black Friday and $373 on Cyber Monday, according to the BMO Harris Bank Holiday Report.

The survey examined the buying intentions of consumers ahead of Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving; and Cyber Monday, one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. It marks the first in a series of reports from BMO Harris that will be released for holiday spending.

The results of the poll show 44 percent of Black Friday shoppers say they will spend more this year, and 40 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers say they expect their spending to go up.

"The U.S. holiday shopping season is expected to be moderately better this year due to stronger job growth, lower unemployment, improved confidence, record-high equity markets, and lower gasoline prices," said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "The only thing holding back sales is sluggish wage gains, though that is expected to change next year. Price competition should remain fierce this season as a result."

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also found:

  • Three quarters (76 percent) of shoppers are buying for themselves on Black Friday. On Cyber Monday, it will be slightly less (70 percent)
  • Just over half (54 percent) plan to buy for children and spouses on Black Friday, and 50 percent will shop for a partner
  • Almost a fifth (18 percent) are looking for a gift for their pet this year

Fifty-five percent say they have a budget, but do not stick to it. Only one fifth say they stick to a strict budget.

"The week around Thanksgiving can be an expensive one, with travel and entertaining costs adding up in addition to sale shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday," s aid Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, Head of Retail Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "The best way to avoid overspending and taking on debt during this time is to build a detailed spending plan that accounts for all costs -- from airfare to gifts -- that will be incurred."

Credit cards are the payment method of choice for 55 percent of shoppers, compared to 52 percent who will pay with debit and 50 percent who will use cash. Four percent say they'll use a tap-to-wallet payment using a mobile phone.

"Planning your payment method in advance can help with staying on track with expenses, as you're making the decision in advance and may be less tempted to make impulsive purchases that aren't within your budget. Earning rewards are an added benefit of using a credit card during the holidays," added Ms. Dousmanis-Curtis.

This survey was conducted by Pollara and are compiled from a random sample of 1,300 Americans 18 years of age and over between October 17th and October 21st, 2014. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris® and BMO Harris Bank® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $586 billion in assets (as of July 31, 2014).

For further information:

Media contact:
Alexis Brown
Twitter: @BMOmedia