A shopper is assisted by an employee at a Lowe hardware store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States, on Nov. 4, 2020.
Mark Makela | Reuters
A new round of stimulus checks on Americans' bank accounts before the end of the year could give retailers a welcome boost this holiday season, according to a new study.
37% of consumers thought they are likely to be less likely to spend during the holidays, while only 16% plan to spend more on gifts, according to the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery study.
Assuming there is a $ 1,200 stimulus payment, the percentage of people looking to spend less drops to 30% while those planning to spend more on gifts, according to the survey posted on the online – Answers based on increasing 22% from 5,002 people October 1-9.
After the government issued millions of checks to consumers as part of a historic $ 2 trillion aid package passed in March, consumers could no longer shop for essentials like groceries and toiletries, but also buy new technology and home improvement items.
But this temporary boom has largely faded, unemployment remains high, and many Americans are trying to plan their way through the holiday season as uncertainty about how the pandemic will unfold is great.
Top Democrats in Congress said earlier this week that a record spike in Covid-19 infections in the US is increasing the urgency for a new relief bill.
America recorded more than 150,000 new Covid cases on Thursday, for the first time since the pandemic about nine months ago. Also on Thursday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked residents to cancel their Thanksgiving plans and stay home unless they have to go to work, school or important trips like the grocery store.
Analysts say it will be difficult for lawmakers to pass pandemic control law before inauguration day on Jan. 20. This doesn't seem to be a priority for President Donald Trump, who has been contesting the election results since November 3rd. President -elect Joe Biden has made coronavirus relief a top priority when he takes office.
That aid might not come soon enough to save the holidays.
The full results of the Gallup study can be found here.