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Survey says majority of New Yorkers will spend about what they spent last year on gifts

A new survey says that a majority of New York State residents plan to keep their holiday spending budgets pretty level with what they spent last year.

That's according to Siena College which says that 61 percent of state residents plan to spend about the same as last year on holiday gifts, while 28 percent say they will spend less, and about nine percent will spend more.

But Don Levy, of the Siena College Research Institute, does see some increased optimism by shoppers overall. He says more New Yorkers seem to be a bit more confident about the economy than last year.

“Tending toward an optimistic outlook, by no means are we worried that the cash registers will not ring. I think that we’re going to see a little more spending this year, than we have the last couple of years,” Levy told WXXI News.

Levy adds that while New Yorkers seem relatively optimistic about their current finances, they will still lean toward buying practical gifts.

“New Yorkers are saying, ‘I’m going to try and buy those practical gifts’ ; I put off buying that extra pair of boots or the coat, or the sweater;’ So we’re going to continue to see some practical items underneath the holiday tree, but we do see people feeling a little bit more stable, less worried about their immediate economic outlook.”

The Siena survey also shows that more than three-quarters of New Yorkers will be making donations of money, food or gifts to charitable organizations during the holiday season. About a third of those surveyed plan to volunteer for organizations that help people during the holidays.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.