Holiday shopping

Sagging consumer confidence may take a bite out of planned holiday spending this year, but it isn't entirely keeping Americans from buying gifts for their near and dear.

They may be dragging their feet to the mall — 54 percent of shoppers said they had not started gift-hunting or had barely started as of Dec. 12 — but Americans said they still intend to spend almost $900 on average on presents, according to an annual Discover Financial Services holiday shopping survey.

That's almost $50 less than the average amount Americans said they spent last year.

Still, winners this holiday season include gift cards, which 55 percent of survey respondents plan to buy. The hottest gifts this year were a variety of consumer electronics, such as televisions, videogame players and iPods, which 23 percent of respondents planned to spend most of their gift budget on and 26 percent said they would most like to receive.

The holiday shopping survey was conducted over the phone among more than 1,017 randomly-selected adults in November by the Opinion Research Corp., with additional statistics from Discover's U.S. Spending Monitor.

which surveys 500 random people daily.

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