JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's a positive sign of the time, local banks are reporting what they call a holiday boost in consumer confidence.
Banking experts say consumers who can't afford to get their loved ones exactly what they want right now are taking out holiday loans, trusting things are better and they'll be able to pay them back.
When all is said and done, the average American will spend $750 on gifts, according to the National Retail Federation.
The sounds of cash registers ringing are music to banks ears. Spending is up whether consumers have cash on hand or not.
"We're very optimistic about this year," Gerri Sexsion with the Jacksonville Federal Credit Union said. "Loan volume is stronger this year."
Sexsion with the Jacksonville Federal Credit Union points to quick and easy holiday loans.
In years past, consumers hesitated, thinking they wouldn't be able to pay them off. But this year, shoppers are confident.
"It's a thousand, two thousand dollars and we set it up where you pay it up by next christmas," Sexsion said. "Those are going like gang busters. We've got about $81,000 already. It's already been a week. That's very good for us."
On average Americans will spend $421.00 on children, parents and relatives, $75 on friends and $50 on co-workers and others
The remaining $200 or so will be spent on food, cars, flowers and decorations.
This type of spending among Americans is a $586 billion impact to the economy.
"We are a family of seven so we try to do $200 to $300 a person, but that's doesn't always work," shopper Erin Church said.
Church said she will end up spending roughly $2,000 dollars this Christmas and that she is still trying to budget. But banks and retailers are noticing a positive trend, pointing to modest but positive gains.
"I will definitely bring gifts to my clients. I don't know my budget for that," Church said. "Always parents, teachers at school, coaches. We have a lot of presents."
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