Americans are planning to finally fork over some of that cash they’ve saved at the pump this year for their holiday shopping, but employers won’t be pleased to hear just when workers plan on making their purchases.
Nearly a third of consumers, 31.2 percent, say they plan on shopping online during work hours, according to an analysis from consumer and retail consultancy Conlumino. And 33 percent say they’ll take a longer lunch break to hit the stores.
Some employees are a bit more daring. Nearly 20 percent will leave earlier than usual to get some shopping done, while a brazen 3 percent say they’ll fake being sick so they can spend the whole day shopping.
Spending is expected to increase by “a solid, but not spectacular” 3.2 percent this holiday season compared to last year.
As consumers become increasingly optimistic about their household finances and the overall economic outlook, more people feel comfortable loosening their purse strings. About 44 percent of people say that their finances are looking better this year than they did at this time last year.
Low gas prices are a big reason for that improvement, with 42 percent of people surveyed saying that savings on fuel has helped boost their savings. Just over 20 percent of people credit higher wages.
Gas prices are expected to continue to fall, reaching below $2 by the end of the year.
Shoppers are also planning on a little self-love. According to the National Retail Federation’s holiday spending survey released on Tuesday, shoppers will spend around $131.59 on purchases for themselves — up from $126.37 last year.