Consumers are still hitting the shops this Christmas despite a looming recession. According to the 2022 Delioitte holiday survey, household finances remain at their weakest level in a decade, however spending is steady as consumers look to cut non-essentials to afford holiday gifts and socializing.

The report finds that consumers are more confident than last year, and low-income shoppers are planning to spend 25 percent more this year for the holidays. On the flip side, consumers are buying fewer gifts, averaging about nine this season, and shortening their shopping time frame from 5.8 weeks to 6.4 weeks.

Shoppers hit the stores earlier this year, with an estimated 23 percent of budgets already spent by the end of October. But the financial outlook for many consumers is grim entering the holiday season, with 37 percent reporting their financial situation is worse compared to last year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $1,455 this year, and 73 percent of consumers expect higher prices in the shops this year due to inflation.

Black Friday remains the top shopping day, with consumers spending an average of 50 percent of their budget between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Despite initial signs that consumers were ready to hit the road again this holiday season, travel numbers are expected to decline ahead of Christmas. Pandemic concerns and increased financial pressures have put a halt to many travel plans. Flight cancellations and continued airport chaos has also dampened holiday travel this year. One in five Americans report that they are worried about travel disruptions this season.

While it’s expected that 15 percent of Americans would travel during the holiday season, overall travel demand is on the decline, with travel services such as hotels taking a larger hit than airlines.

Meanwhile, older Americans are choosing not to travel at all in record numbers. Health concerns and travel disruptions have prompted many senior citizens to remain home this Christmas.