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Consumers planning for a frugal Yule

Associated Press / November 7, 2008
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NEW YORK - Shoppers are scrimping on holiday gifts, but not when it comes to their pets.

Among those who plan to spend less on gifts this year, only 23 percent are doing so on their pets, according to a survey released yesterday by Consumer Reports. The majority, 84 percent, said they plan to cut back spending on themselves.

Another 40 percent said they're scaling back on buying for friends and friends' families, while 30 percent plan to spend less on service providers and 29 percent aren't giving as much to co-workers.

In all, 59 percent of shoppers said they plan to cut back on giving. One reason pets won't be as affected is that their gifts aren't as pricey.

"Most average folks aren't spending an arm and a leg on their pet," said Tod Marks, senior projects editor at Consumer Reports.

When people treat themselves, on the other hand, it's usually a big-ticket item for the family, he said.

The study also found 59 percent of shoppers plan to create a budget for the holiday season - up 17 percent from last year.

"Whether they'll stick to it, nobody knows," Marks said.

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