U.S. consumers this year plan to cut their holiday spending sharply compared with last year, according to survey data Discover Financial Services released today. In a telephone survey of 1,008 U.S. adults Opinion Research Corp. conducted Nov. 12 to 15, respondents said on average they plan to spend $723 on holiday gifts, down 13% from $831 in last year's survey. Last year, respondents said they planned to cut their average gift-spending 7.3% from $896 in 2007. Some 43% of respondents said they plan to spend less on gifts this holiday season. Among those spending less, 48% blamed the poor economy. Consumers may be growing accustomed to grim economic news. Some 63% of respondents said they were concerned about their finances, down from 74% who said so last year. Women on average this year plan to spend $40 more than men on holiday gifts, the survey data suggest. Toys topped the list of categories where respondents plan to spend the most on gifts (21%), followed by consumer electronics (20%), apparel (19%), and books, music, movies and videogames (15%).

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