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Americans expect to spend a little more this holiday season, Gallup says

Americans expect to spend a bit more on holiday gifts than in 2013, but less than they projected last month

Americans said they expected to spend slightly more on holiday shopping this year, but the figure is down from an October estimate and indicates they might be having second thoughts about the strength of the economy, according to Gallup poll results released Monday.

Respondents projected they would spend $720 on gifts this year, up from a $704 estimate in November 2013.

The estimate points to "an OK holiday season for retailers," Gallup said.

A quarter of consumers said they planned to spend $1,000 or more on holiday shopping, according to the survey of 1,019 adults taken last week.

Another 21% estimated their spending would be at least $500. About 15% said they'd spend $250 to $499.

The average spending is down from November estimates of more than $800 in 2006 and 2007, before the Great Recession hit, Gallup said.

The latest estimate also is down $61 from what Americans told Gallup last month that they planned to spend on holiday shopping.

Last year, consumer projections of spending dropped by $82 from October to November, a sign of what Gallup called possible cold feet syndrome.

There have been some recent reports of troubles in the global economy, including Japan's unexpected announcement last week that it had fallen into another recession.

The Gallup results come amid mixed estimates from other groups.

The National Retail Federation has forecast a 4.1% increase in spending in November and December, up from a 3.1% increase for the same period last year.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has forecast average household holiday spending will decline this year to $684 from $735 last year.

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