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Economic Viewpoints: Holiday Shoppers Lean on Discounts and ‘Buy now, pay later’

Source: Curtis Dubay, Chief Economist, US Chamber of Commerce

The first weekend of the holiday shopping season shows consumers are spending, but they are looking for discounts and making more use of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ as they contend with inflation and rising credit card balances.

Why it matters: These early trends are consistent with what we have seen from consumers for months. They continue spending with a significant portion of it from borrowing.

By the numbers: “Consumers spent a record $9.8 billion shopping online on Friday, according to Adobe Analytics,” USA Today reported.

Be smart: This early data from one segment of the retail industry (online) shows a good start to the holiday shopping season. But if the delayed-payment, bargain-hunting, and card-fueled spending trends hold, they indicate weakening consumer strength. This makes it important that leaders work to strengthen the economy so Americans’ incomes keep growing.

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