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Holiday spending plans on the rise, St. Thomas survey says

Twin Cities shoppers plan to spend an average of $837 on their holiday shopping this year, according to the annual survey by University of St. Thomas marketing professors.

At least that's their intent, point out the researchers, St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business faculty members Dave Brennan,  Lorman Lundsten,  John Sailors and Jon Seltzer. What people actually will spend is, of course, still unknown at this time.

But this year's "intent" is the highest in the survey's 12-year history. It’s up $64, or 8.3 percent, from 2012, up $134, or 19 percent, from 2011, and up $200, or 31 percent, from the survey’s low point in 2009, the study shows.

And here's what people surveyed said they're going to buy with that $837:

1. Gift certificates (last year 1)
2. Clothing/accessories (2)
3. Cash (4)
4. Books (6)
5. Toys/hobbies (7)
6. Travel (3)
7. Entertainment (8)
8. Video games/related items (9)
9. Computers/related items (5)

10. Sporting goods (11)
11. Consumer electronics (13)
12. Jewelry (14)
13. Cell phones, related items (12)
14. Furniture/furnishings (10)

Some economy questions were asked this year:

When asked “How are you getting along financially these days?” 76 percent said the same or better. When asked how they will be doing in the coming year, 89 percent said the same or better. They were evenly split when asked if they had been significantly affected by the recession; 48 percent said yes and 51 percent said no. And when asked if this is a good time to buy a large item for the house, only 16.5 percent said yes.

And asked which malls or downtowns they plan to visit each month for their shopping, respondents said:

1. Mall of America (1)
2. Rosedale (2) 
3. Southdale (3) 
4. Burnsville (8)
5. Maplewood (10)
6. Eden Prairie (7)
7. Riverdale (12)
7. Ridgedale (4)
8. Arbor Lakes area (9)
9. Northtown (12)
10. Woodbury Lakes area (11)
11. Albertville Outlet Center (5)
11. Downtown Minneapolis (6)
12. Downtown St. Paul (12).

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