By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Analysts predict consumers will spend $1,250 this holiday season on gifts, travel and entertainment, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ 2018 Holiday Outlook. This year’s prediction is 5 percent higher than the 2017 forecast.

The survey asked people to identify themselves as spenders or savers, and found both groups will spend around the same amount of money. Gifts make up most of the budget, followed by travel, then entertainment.

Consumers are expected to spend twice as much money on family compared to buying things for themselves, and even less on friends.

When it comes to what people are buying, Pricewaterhouse Coopers spokesperson Dawn Eber said the items themselves have changed, but value shopping is still the most important factor.

“They’re looking for stress-free, easy shopping,” Eber said. “So [less] time out of their day and fewer stores that they have to visit. But they’re also paying a lot of attention to brands, and specifically health and wellness brands,”

Health and wellness brands grew 9 percent over last year. The next most popular trend reflected revolves around socially- and environmentally-conscious brands, artisanal and secondhand items, all at 7 percent growth.

Another unique jump compared to years past: millennials shopping for their pets.

“About 70 percent of them actually own pets, and we’re finding that they are driving a significant portion of the spending for pets,” Eber said. “On average, we’re seeing they’re spending about $180, a little more than that, on their pets during the holiday season.”

That is roughly three times more money than what the average consumer spends on pets, which is $67.

Christiane Cordero

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