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Consumers Appear More Cautious this Holiday Shopping Season

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Consumer confidence has gone up in recent weeks, but shoppers appear to be in no mood to splurge.  A new survey finds most Americans do not plan to spend more on holiday gifts than they did last year.

Retailers are cautiously optimistic about the coming holiday shopping season.

"Most shoppers feel that the worst is over," says Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation.  "They made it through the recession.  Many of them spent several years paying down debt or putting money into savings."

But there are plenty of headwinds this fall that could hold back consumer spending.

"Everything from political attack ads to news about the fiscal cliff to gas prices that still can’t seem to stabilize are giving some consumers reason for caution," explains Davis.

That may make layaway plans more popular this year than at any time in the recent past.

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