In spite of Hurricane Irma, robust holiday spending is expected
Image via AP.

Black Friday Holiday Shopping

Even as some Floridians cut back on spending this holiday season because of unforeseen costs brought by Hurricane Irma, overall holiday spending across the state is expected to increase, according to an annual study conducted by the Florida Retail Federation.

Shoppers are expected to spend an average of $967 on gifts, breaking down to people spending an average of $608 on gifts for family, friends and coworkers, $218 on decorations for the holiday season and $141 on gifts for themselves.

“Hurricane Irma hit our state extremely hard … and we factored in this impact in our forecast, but we feel the overall strength in the economy and the incredible recovery efforts that have taken place will help lessen the impact on retail sales this holiday season,” Scott Shalley, the president of FRF, said.

Buoyed by a boost in the economy and millennials splurging on gifts, total spending in the state is expected to reach $678 billion, up from $655 billion last year.

The spike in spending could also be due to the fact that 40 percent of Floridians started their holiday shopping early — as soon as Halloween. Nearly 30 percent of shoppers are expected to be done holiday shopping by the time Black Friday rolls in.

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.


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