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Poll: Americans to spend 3 to 4 percent more on holiday shopping this year

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Americans are likely to spend between three and four percent more on their holiday shopping this year than last, in an apparent sign of increased consumer confidence, according to a survey published Wednesday.

The poll, conducted jointly by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), found 12 percent of consumers said they would spend more on holiday purchases in 2012 than 2011.

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That compares to just eight percent of respondents who said the same thing when polled this time last year.

A statement accompanying the annual survey said that this year’s planned increase in spending by some consumers “may well reflect perceived improvement in their financial situation.”

Meanwhile, the percentage of people who said they would spend less on gifts this year than last was 38 percent — three percent less than the number of people who gave that response in last year’s poll.

“Our survey results suggest that holiday spending this year will likely rise by between three and four percent compared to last year,” said Bill Hampel, chief economist for CUNA.

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“This represents the fourth year of gradual improvement in holiday spending plans since a sharp decline in such plans in 2008.”

The November 9-13 telephone survey of about a thousand subjects found that many Americans are willing to part with more of their money this holiday season despite sizable financial constraints, including high mortgage payments, student loans and credit card payments.

People with lower incomes were more likely than well-off Americans to say that their financial circumstances had worsened this year compared to last, and were correspondingly less likely to report plans to spend as freely.

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But the poll also made what it called the “anomalous” finding that Democrats — who are less financially well-off than Republicans on average — were more likely to increase their holiday spending this year.

The pollsters surmised that this may be the case in part because of the election victory earlier this month that saw Barack Obama returned to the White House for a second four-year term, which might have buoyed Democrats’ spirits and loosened their purse strings.


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USA mystified by ’15 Donald Trumps’ jibe at Rugby World Cup

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USA coach Gary Gold said he was mystified by a comment from England's Eddie Jones that the Eagles would play like "15 Donald Trumps" when they meet at the Rugby World Cup.

"I've absolutely no idea what he means by that," Gold said, ahead of Thursday's game in Kobe.

"We're just a team that's really got to focus on our own processes at the moment. We've got to worry about what we do when we get onto the rugby field.

"At this stage, with all due respect, we're not a good enough rugby team to be making comments or answers to questions like that. I don't know what it means."

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‘Absolutely disgusting’: Trump slammed for trolling Greta Thunberg climate speech

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US President Donald Trump stirred up fresh outrage on social media Monday with a tweet mocking an impassioned speech made by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg at the UN climate summit in New York.

Her voice shaking with emotion in an address that was the defining moment of the summit, Thunberg accused world leaders of betraying her generation by failing to act on rising emissions, repeating the words "how dare you" four times.

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I'm one of the lucky ones," she said. "People are suffering. People are dying."

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Pulitzer Prize-winner reveals why the White House thinks Trump’s Ukraine scandal ‘can be spun as positive’

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Despite the growing movement for impeachment, advisors to President Donald Trump believe the bombshell reports about soliciting foreign election interference from Ukraine can be "spun as a positive" for the president's 2020 re-election campaign.

Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post, was interviewed about the thinking of Trump's advisors by MSNBC's Steve Kornacki on Monday.

"This is a White House, a Trump White House, that is used to being under siege. There was of course the two-and-a-half-year saga with the Mueller investigation culminating in the Mueller report, Mueller’s testimony recently. There have been a million other controversies, flare-ups, moments when the White House was forced to defend a comment from the president, allegation against the president, these sorts of things," Kornacki noted.

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