Nov 2, 2007
Making a holiday list, trimming it twiceBy Nicole C. WongBoston.com

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice. You’ll probably receive fewer presents this holiday season – or at least cheaper ones.

New England residents plan to spend an average of $577, or 19 percent less, on gifts this holiday season compared with the $713 they spent last year, according to a survey to be released today by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. And they’re crossing off one or two people who were on last year’s shopping list to hand out on average about 24 presents in December.

Nationally, gift-giving budgets are down 2.5 percent, to $569, according to the survey of 14,135 consumers conducted between Sept. 24 and Oct. 4. Deloitte said New Englanders spent a lot more in 2006 compared with consumers nationally, making this year’s pullback bigger.

Consumers everywhere are feeling the pinch with a slumping housing sector and a volatile stock market. And the soaring price of crude oil could give New Englanders their highest winter heating bills ever.

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