How Much Are New Yorkers Spending On Holiday Gifts And What Does It Say About Their Finances?


ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – If the latest poll from Siena College is any indication, New Yorkers are feeling a bit better about their personal finances than they did a year ago.

Siena College Research Institute director Don Levy says each indicator in an annual holiday spending survey is up slightly from 2018.

“Interestingly, we ask the same question every year, we’ve been doing it since 2008: Do you plan to spend more money, the same or less money on gifts than you did last year?” he said. “Seventeen percent say ‘more’. That’s the highest number we’ve seen in 13 years of doing the survey.”

More than half of New York residents who took the survey say they’ll be spending at least $500 on holiday gifts. About one out of five plan to spend over $1,000.


“It points to people saying, ‘It’s going a little bit better,’ or more people say they’re doing a little bit better,” Levy explained.

Forty percent said they will do at least half of their holiday shopping online, compared to 7 percent in 2008.

Other findings from the poll: 63 percent of New Yorkers said they will donate money, food, or gifts to charitable organizations that focus on the needy during the holiday season, down from 68 percent in 2018 and a high of 81 percent in 2007.

Also, 30 percent said they believe in Santa Claus.