Optimistic Ohioans to spend more on holiday shopping, survey says

Ohio consumers have a more positive outlook about the economy and their household finances and are planning to spend more on holiday gifts, according to a Deloitte survey released Wednesday.

The results — based on a survey of 500 Ohioans and 5,089 people nationwide in mid-September — are good news for local retailers, and Dayton-area mall officials say they see early indications that support Deloitte’s conclusions.

Deloitte officials said 52 percent of Ohioans surveyed expect the economy to improve in 2013, their most positive outlook since 2009. And about two out of three Ohio consumers surveyed say their current household financial position is the same or better than last year.

Ohio shoppers plan to increase the gift-giving portion of their holiday budgets by 26 percent from last year to an average of $475, Deloitte officials said.

Kristie Miller, spokeswoman for the Mall at Fairfield Commons, said mall officials “have seen a positive increase in sales and traffic this year and are confident it will continue throughout the holiday season.” Sales are up about 3 percent this year, Miller said.

Steve Willshaw, general manager of The Greene, said, “In considering our year-to-date sales results and a collective positive outlook on the economy, we anticipate at a minimum meeting Deloitte’s projected percentage-growth forecasts for holiday shopping in Ohio.”

Ed Bentley, Deloitte & Touche LLP partner, said, “The news has been getting better lately on the job and housing markets in Ohio, and I think that is having a positive effect on consumers’ outlook and how they feel about spending during the holidays. That doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet. Consumers are still cautious because of high gas and food prices and debate about the fiscal cliff.”

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