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Americans are feeling richer these days, but they won't necessarily be spending more on gifts

Americans are feeling richer these days, but they won't necessarily be spending more on gifts

Will shoppers really spend more this holiday season than they did last year? It depends on whom you ask.

By most measures, Americans are feeling good about the economy. A monthly gauge of consumer confidence is at a 17-year high. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low. The stock market continues to hit all-time peaks, while gas remains relatively cheap.

That optimism is expected to help boost holiday shopping sales by as much as 4% this year, according to data from the National Retail Federation. The trade group projects Americans will spend a record $682 billion this year.

But there are signs that the optimism may be limited to high-income Americans. Data show that...

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