ST. LOUIS – Will inflation affect Christmas and Christmas shopping for St. Louis residents? 

In November 2021, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis released an article about inflation. 

This article said that the 2021 holidays would be more expensive than the previous two years. The article explained that most gift prices are growing more slowly than general prices. 

What is likely to erode households’ ability to go holiday shopping is higher prices for essential goods and services. 

Inflation for 2021 was 7%. The annual inflation rate for the United States currently is 8.2% since September. This is the highest it has been in four decades. The next inflation update is scheduled to be released on Nov. 10. 

CNBC reports that shoppers will see more items on sale this holiday season compared to the past two years. 

Electronics and toys are all expected to hit the lowest discount since Adobe Analytics started tracking figures in 2017. Last holiday season, shoppers started buying gifts early to avoid out-of-stock items and shipping delays

But this year, retailers have plenty of merchandise, due to shoppers’ needing to use the money on essential items. Food, housing, healthcare, and other items have been affected by inflation. 

According to Forbes, consumers will expect to spend more this holiday season than last year but will be purchasing fewer gifts. 

Customers are expected to buy fewer gifts for fewer people. Other tips are switching spending to less expensive gift categories and budget-friendly stores.

Helpful tips 

To help with inflation prices and Christmas 2022, is creating a budget. This will help shoppers by still being able to buy gifts, but also be able to afford the essentials. EveryDollar by Ramsey is an app that is used to help budget monthly. 

Planning, starting to shop early, and paying in cash are also helpful tips. Starting shopping early helps break up the large sum of cash spent at the end of the year on Christmas gifts. 

Use cash to pay for holiday shopping. Withdrawal is the amount that is budgeted and, once the cash is run out, the holiday shopping is over. Using a prepaid card is also an option. Once the money is spent, don’t continue to spend.