Economists Say Gas Prices Playing a Role in Holiday Spending

Economists Say Gas Prices Playing a Role in Holiday Spending

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(KSL News) Economists at Wells Fargo Bank in Salt Lake released their holiday season forecast, and they say gasoline and housing prices play a big role.

The average household budget for gas has jumped from three percent to five percent, which means consumers are already cutting back on how much they spend for the holidays.

Sterling Jenson, a Wells Fargo investment strategist, said, "It's the apparel stores that are seeing the hit to this point. People are backing off on clothing purchases. They're still spending on staple items, that sort of thing, but areas where they have discretion, those things have backed off."

Wells Fargo believes mortgage rates will stay at around 6.5 percent in 2008. The unemployment rate will also remain where it is, at about 3-percent. And our state population is expected to go up a little, 2,770,000.

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