A new survey finds that higher prices for gifts and rising energy costs are expected to put a damper on the holiday shopping season.
Some 35 percent of consumers said they plan to spend less than they did last year.
Credit Union association economist Bill Hampel notes that gasoline costs about $1 more per gallon compared with this time last year. He says any further increases could have an "outsized effect" on consumer spending.
Some retailers have anticipated a down year. Industry bellwether Wal-Mart began offering steep discounts on a variety of products three weeks before the traditional "Black Friday" start to the holiday shopping season
The survey was conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and Credit Union National Association.